Do you give your VA your credit card details?
Giving your VA your personal credit card details can seem like a good idea
- especially if you hired them to make your travel arrangements for you.
You don't want to wait until you are available to buy those hard to find flights
What happens if you share your card details?
Tucked away in the small print of your credit card agreement is a promise that you won't share your card details and three digit customer code.
You risk losing any protection from fraudulent transactions - even if it was nothing to do with your VA.
You also put your VA in a difficult position since if anything does go wrong, they will be the first person to be investigated once you tell the bank they have your details.
Isn't it all about trust?
You trust your VA of course. If not, you wouldn't be using them. But this is not about how much you trust your VA. It's about having safe and secure systems that keep you on the right side of that all important protection from the bank when things go wrong.
There are so many ways this could go wrong even with the most trustworthy VA on the planet.
- Your card could be scammed/phished/skimmed when you are using it in person
- Your pc/phone could be compromised and someone could steal the detials
- Your VA's pc/phone could be compromised and the details stolen from them
- The people you buy from don't have a secure site and your details could be stolen from them
If you think this doesn't happen check out this article from BBC Watchdog
Once you can establish the transaction was nothing to do with you, most credit card providers will reimburse you for fraudulent transactions (made while you have still got your card in your wallet).
But as soon as you let the know someone other than you has your full details, you risk being refused reimbursement.
Never tell anyone your PIN or your passwords
Don't share your credit card details
There are alternatives that are much more secure. A lot depends on how you work with your VA.
- Give your VA a card on your business credit account in their own name with a credit limit on it. This doesn't compromise your security.
- Contact your business card provider and ask them if you can nominate your VA to have access. Make sure they know your VA is not your employee
You will find different card providers have different rules. Some only offer multiple cards for employees - others don't mind who you issue them to. Some offer secure multiple access for limited companies but not for sole traders or unincorporated partnership.
Do not just assume it is OK. Without full disclosure of who is about to to access your card (and the fact they are not your employee) you will not automatically benefit from the fraud protection schemes on your card.
Always check with your card provider before you disclose any details. Rules change frequently so don't think - it was all right before so I'll do it again.
How do you organise travel payments?
We'd love to hear from you if you have found a secure and satisfactory way to handle this - if you are a VA or a client.
KoffeeKlatch agreements cover this
We take your security very seriously. We spent a long time working with Virtual Assistants and their customers before we created our Virtual Assistant agreement.
Use our VA agreement to set up secure arrangements for your money and your data that work for both of you.
Just choose whether your VA is invoicing you through a company (ltd) or directly (unltd) at the check out.