Whether your business is affected by a hurricane, power outage, or a fire, merchants everywhere need to know how to regain the ability to accept credit card payments after a disaster. At Payline, we are here to help you create your disaster recovery plan to get our merchants back in business.
4 things your disaster recovery plan needs in order to accept credit card payments ASAP
1. Train employees in emergency preparedness
Your employees are the first line of defense for your business. In the event of a weather-related emergency where your managerial staff cannot make it to your brick-and-mortar location, your entire staff should have a handle on the basics of emergency preparedness. For example, if a water pipe bursts in your retail store, your staff should know how to access the water shut off. In other instances, your staff may need to know how to direct the fire department to your emergency panel. Knowing these basic procedures can save you time and money when an emergency strikes.
2. Protect your financial records
For retail businesses that accept credit card payments in-store, it’s likely that your financial records are stored where business takes place. That being said, it’s worth the effort to prepare your financial documents for safekeeping. Nowadays, financial statements are stored online and are also sent via email with an online statement. You may consider storing these records in a safe place on the cloud or in a place that is accessible by you and other important people in your organization. If you are still relying on paper records, we encourage you to make sure they are stored in a fireproof and waterproof filing cabinet. The headache of sorting through your records after a disaster is avoidable with a little bit of preparation.
3. Create a crisis communications plan
This seems like a no-brainer, but your entire staff should be aware of how to communicate in the event of a disaster. Will cell phone communication work? If power is out across your city, an email may not be received. Furthermore, consider your customers as part of your crisis plan. Depending on your business type, your clients will grow concerned about any pending requests or purchases they rely upon from your business. How will you communicate with them efficiently and effectively? Having this plan in place will save time in the event of a natural disaster when your primary focus will be how to get your business back up and running to accept credit card payments.
4. Consider a mobile payments solution
Sure, you typically accept credit card payments at a brick-and-mortar location, but when disaster is affecting your retail operations, are you able to take credit cards remotely? Payline offers mobile readers and other mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) solutions to help your business take credit cards from anywhere – which can help you keep up with business as usual in the event of a natural disaster.
Most businesses don’t consider the potential for a disaster to strike, but no matter the size of these incidents, it’s imperative to have strategies in place to ensure a quicker recovery time for your business so that you can get back to making money as soon as possible.
Below, we’ve included contact information to benefit you in the event of an emergency. The IRS and FEMA have plans in place for businesses affected by natural disaster.
- Following a crisis, you can request a copy of a return and all attachments (Form 4506) from the IRS here. If you just need information from your return, call (800) 829-1040 or use this form to request a transcript of your tax return. There is no fee for this request, and the IRS has plans in place to help you recover.
- To contact FEMA about recent disaster declarations, you can access their site here or you can apply for immediate disaster assistance by calling (800) 621-3362 or visiting www.DisasterAssistance.gov.