In a recent piece published in the Washington Post's small business column, Card Hub's Odysseas Papadimitriou detailed some of the issues associated with criminal activity and what specifically happens in circumstances when card fraud occurs. According to him, payment processor companies are among those who may be called upon to take charge pay the price for a security issue, since the consumer is usually protected.

This is important for small businesses, as it means that correctly understanding the way that your credit card payment processor provider works. The key, Papadimitriou writes, is in understanding how to react as a merchant in this situation. He provides advice for those concerned about being stuck with the brunt of the fees, pointing out that it's a matter of performing the right steps.

"Merchants themselves are not liable for losses resulting from card-present transactions as long as they follow proper fraud prevention protocols," he writes. "More specifically, they're expected to compare a customer's signature on the receipt to that on the back of the card; examine the embossed name, account number, and expiration date; and verify that fraud-prevention characteristics (such as holograms) are in order."

Small businesses can use credit card payment processing and other tools to help ease some of the weight of recouping losses from their shoulders. This requires that owners of these kinds of companies empower themselves and avoid paying unnecessary fines. Papadimitriou also suggests owners pay attention to their own card payment habits. 

The potential for fraud is an unavoidable fact of commerce, but merchants can count on high quality card payment processing software to help mitigate the situation.