Credit cards are a ubiquitous part of the modern consumer landscape, with more people using digital methods to purchase goods and services than ever before. While it may seem that there has been no better time to make a credit card processing program an essential part of a retail outfit, it also comes with a necessary sense of caution. If a 2012 study is to be believed, the rate of credit card fraud after 2010 has skyrocketed 87 percent, an appalling figure that highlights the importance of security checks when it comes to such transactions.

This figure comes from Javelin Strategy & Research, who last year determined that figure through their Eighth Annual Card Issuer's Safety Scorecard. In addition to fraud efforts growing, the report found that most card issuers met less than half of the prevention standards last year. Some of the only positive information gleaned from this appears to have been the increase in adherence to detection criteria, but even that was only to around 60 percent. Also potentially alarming is the knowledge that some providers do not send out messages when cardholders' personal information changes.

Javelin's president Jim Van Dyke expressed hope that this information would help reduce the frequency of such fraudulent events in the future.

"The overall recommendations provide a general guide as to where card issuers need to focus their efforts to eliminate fraud," he said in a release on the company's website last June.

There are myriad dangers to non-physical payments, and those who make use of credit card software have every right to be careful in choosing the tools they use. Selecting programs that are accessible, cost-effective and secure should be a high priority to merchants of all sorts, especially as cards continue to dominate commerce.