Safe Spending

Small business credit card users now have more protection.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the September 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

As of September 1, MasterCard's U.S. small-business customers will enjoy zero liability--a level of fraud protection their consumer cardholder counterparts have had for 12 years.

"Small-business owners were not always clear about what level of protection they were getting," explains Bruno Perreault, group head of global small-business and midsize enterprises for MasterCard Worldwide. "We decided to introduce zero liability to alleviate concern and to assure small-business cardholders that they are protected from misuse of the card at all times."

By protecting cardholders from responsibility for any charges incurred by an unauthorized individual, zero liability removes a reservation some entrepreneurs have had about using business rather than personal cards for their business-related purchases and expenses. "It gives small-business owners another reason to use a business card. They are afforded the same protection [as consumers] and are able to improve record-keeping," says Perreault.

Cardholders, however, are charged with "exercising reasonable care in safeguarding their cards," as well as with alerting their issuing bank to any loss, theft or unauthorized usage. What is reasonable care? "The cardholder should take appropriate action to carry the card with them and to look at their statement to identify potential [fraud]," says Perreault. "You don't, for example, want to write your PIN on your card."

Jennifer Pellet is a New York City freelance writer specializing in business and finance.


More from Entrepreneur

Learn how to get your own business launched with our on-demand start-up course. Whether your ready or just thinking about starting your own business, get started for free with our first 3 lessons and receive a personalized 1-page business brief.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Let us help you take the NEXT step. Whether you have one-time projects, recurring work, or part-time contractors, we can assemble the experts you need to grow your company.

Latest on Entrepreneur