ACH, EFT and … Spending time in…

ACH, EFT and…Phishing season

We hear the sad stories of folks who’re hacked and lose personal information, money and even titles to their homes. And we’ve almost certainly experienced internet phishing in the form of those phony emails purporting to be from some trusted source, or even a Facebook friend.  For the most part we simply delete them without opening or responding because we smell a rat.

But there’s a new one afoot that can empty either your or your customers’ bank account via the redirection of a legitimate ACH (Automatic Clearing House) or ETF (Electronic Funds Transfer) that’s been set up to pay for a recurring expense. Worse yet, the scam is gaining momentum as more businesses do ACH’s.

The scam involves the criminals first hacking your (or your customers’) email account. They then contact the mark (who’s in your contact list) to request that they change the bank that was set to pay an expense via ACH. Of course the new institution is offshore, and the money is simply gone. And don’t think that they can’t get past two step authentications (like your birth city or favorite movie) because they can and do.

What to do? First safeguard your passwords. Don’t store them on your laptop or phone. Next be even more careful about opening unusual contacts. Especially, don’t act on any official looking request that you make an EFT change without calling the institution or business to be certain it’s legit. And if you’re the recipient of an ACH or EFT from customers tell them that you will never email them to ask for a change and if they receive any such request to call you.

Spending time in…that safe place?

Everyone’s got at least one. You know that easy to please customer who appreciates everything that you do, pays without being asked and never complains. It’d be nice if our entire customer book was composed of them. But that’s not  the case.

Truth is those easy cheesy types are kinda rare and unfortunately there are probably more who occupy the other end of the spectrum. The challenge they pose is twofold. First those ports in the storm are likely a fraction the size of the demanding ones. Problem number two is that we’re prone to overservice the easy customer at the expense of the difficult one. Doing that is just human nature. After all who wants to see a tough cookie more than necessary?

But that’s exactly what we need to do because that tough customer is probably worth the effort and the nice folks at Mom’s diner probably don’t really deserve as much (maybe disproportionate?) effort we invest in them.

The bottom line is that we need to be sure that the amount of service we deliver is reasonably proportionate to the value of the customer – and their realistic needs. Just maybe that easy to please customer could get by with service that’s reduced a bit and the found time better invested making sure the tough cookie stays our customer.