All businesses are required to properly handle credit and debit card data and ensure it is not stolen and used for theft and fraud. The PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) compliance process is designed to help you assess your business to discover weaknesses that might expose this confidential information to criminals.
The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council is the organization created by the card Brands (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and JCB) to establish a set of minimum security standards to ensure the safe handling of credit card data. That minimum set of security standards is called the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards - PCI DSS. These standards must be adhered to by all merchants and anyone who collects, transmits, processes OR stores sensitive credit card information on behalf of merchants.
How Does PCI Compliance Affect my Business?
All merchants are required to be compliant with the PCI DSS annually. This includes merchants whose credit card processing is handled entirely by a 3rd party (also known as a Service Provider).
PCI is not a governments' passed law - but if a merchant wants to process credit cards as a convenience to their customers, failure to abide by PCI and the Brands regulations can directly impact the merchant’s ability to do so - and have a very real impact to their business as a result.
All merchant accounts include enrollment in a PCI Compliance program for a small monthly or annual fee.
These programs walk you through the annual Self Assessment Questionnaire and perform vulnerability scans when requried. They help you secure credit card data, in all its forms and locations, so you can get concentrate on what matters - running your business.
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