February 3, 2005, 12:00 AM

Whataburger chain tightens reins on e-payment fraud with web-based alerts

One of the pioneers in credit card acceptance among quick-serve restaurants, Whataburger is rolling a new payment processing system from Paymentech that provides instant alerts regarding potentially fraudulent transactions.

 

One of the pioneers in credit card acceptance among quick-serve restaurants, Whataburger Inc. is rolling a new payment processing system from Paymentech that provides instant alerts regarding potentially fraudulent transactions.

"We liked Paymentech`s Instant Alerts service, which sends automatic email alerts directly to our corporate office about unusual or potentially fraudulent transactions," said Wendy Beck, CFO of Whataburger. "And their web-based reporting tools help streamline our business operations."

Whataburger, with 630 company-owned and franchise locations in 10 states, has tested the Paymentech system in several restaurants and plans to roll out the system to all 475 company-owned locations this year. Franchise locations will follow on a separate schedule.

The Paymentech system is designed to replace manual review of credit and debit card transactions, letting retail headquarters managers see within seconds any problems related to payment processing, a spokeswoman says. Under conventional manual review systems, problems often would not become known until up to a month later after managers conducted reviews of monthly sales reports, she adds. The nearly instant alerts to managers include the time of day and identifying number of the POS terminal related to a suspicious transaction.

Checks on potential fraud would show, for example, when a credit card was swiped multiple times within a short period of time, or when charged amounts exceeded sale amounts.

In addition to checking for fraud, the Paymentech system also alerts managers when debit card transactions are not conducted over the most efficient network offering the lowest rates, the spokeswoman says.

 

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