PCI Compliance applies to ANY organization, regardless or number of transactions, that that accepts, processes or stores any credit card data.
Following PCI compliance standards is the best way to protect your customer data and avoid any fees associated with PCI compliance violations.
Many businesses maintain large numbers of (supposedly secure) personal online customer profiles to provide a convenient way to deal with recurring monthly or annual payments. It’s important for customers to know their information is safe when they use their debit or credit cards to purchase products or services.
PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
By definition, PCI (short for PCI DSS) Compliance, stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. PCI comprises of a set of 12 specific requirements which cover six goals.
PCI standards have one goal in mind: to protect consumers’ credit card data from being stolen or misused by hackers or other cybercriminals. Maintaining PCI compliance is your best defense against experiencing a data breach. It also reassures your customers that it’s safe for them to use their credit cards when doing business with you.
When you take a customer’s credit card, you receive a great deal of sensitive data. The PCI SSC (Payment Card Industry Security Standard Council) was founded in 2006 by the five major card brands – AMEX, MasterCard, Visa, Japanese Credit Bureau (JCB) and Discover- to develop and manage security in the payment card industry.
Meeting PCI compliance requirements is a critical part of running a successful business.
How is PCI compliance enforced?
You may be fined for non-compliance by your acquiring bank, who ultimately may prevent you from taking card payments. In the event of a data breach, your business will be investigated, to see whether you were compliant and if so, to what extent. Once your level of compliance has been ascertained, penalties will be imposed by the credit card companies.
These PCI compliance fines for breaches are hefty and can range between $5,000 and $100,000. Non-compliant organizations can be fined monthly until their compliance is attained, but whether or not financial penalties are levied is up to the acquiring bank.
Exposing sensitive data like cardholder data or credit card numbers generates consequences beyond just fines, with card replacement costs, litigation, damage to your company’s reputation and loss of business, and you may even find your company’s ability to take card payments revoked.
Put simply, it isn’t worth the risk to your business and your clients’ privacy to be slack about PCI DSS.
Get help with your PCI compliance requirements
The subject of PCI compliance can be a daunting one for a business owner, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right knowledge and the right partner, it can be understood (and achieved) without much trouble at all. Instead, you can focus your time (and saved money) on continuing to develop your core business and grow your customer base.
A leader in payment security, Ivrnet is a Level 1 PCI DSS certified Service Provider.
For more information about how Ivrnet helps you protect your customers’ data and achieve PCI compliance, download our brochure.