PCI Data Security

Many business owners don’t know what PCI Compliance is. We receive many calls asking each week asking us the same question. Let’s begin by looking at what PCI (and its counterpart DSS) stands for — Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards.

PCI Compliance are mandatory standards that must be followed by all companies and merchants accepting payment from customers via credit or debit card. If you’re a business owner or operator and you accept, process, transmit or store cardholder data, then you’re required to comply with PCI Security Standards to ensure a secure payment card environment. PCI compliance is expected of all merchants, irrespective of their size.

The purpose of PCI compliance is to ensure that merchants provide the maximum security when processing customer payments or handling customer data. An independent group, named the PCI Security Standard Council (PCI SSC), was created in 2006 to manage and administer the PCI DSS.

This group, however, is not responsible with enforcing compliance and this is primarily the duty of the payment card brands and the acquiring banks, along with retailers and small businesses themselves. Major card brands such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express, played an important role in the development of the PCI standards.

One of the key things that business owners are trying to determine is whether or not being compliant is necessary. For the small business owner, the process may seem complicated and time consuming. However, all businesses, big and small, must comply with PCI standards if they plan to accept and process payments via credit or debit cards. Some of the benefits of following the standards set by PCI compliance are:

  • Compliance with the PCI DSS demonstrates that your customers’ private information is protected, so they can entrust their credit card payments to you without needing to worry about the security of their data.
  • Compliance with PCI DSS enhances your business reputation and is held in high regard by banks and credit card companies — the very same corporations that help you do business and help you to gain and keep your customers trust.
  • Compliance with the PCI security standards allows you to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to enhance the shopping experience for your customers – and a genuine desire to protect their data by preventing security breaches.

If your business is not PCI DSS compliant, you may not have the protection you need to prevent your customers’ data being accessed without authorization. A single security breach could do massive damage to your business reputation, which may result in loss of sales and significant loss in profits.

PCI DSS Compliance is a means of building customers’ trust and protecting your business against damaging leaks of confidential customer information. Taking care of your customers by being PCI compliant will help to ensure continued growth of your business and reinforce goodwill with your customers. A complete list of standards is available for download from the PCI Security Standards Council.

At Global Processing Systems, we work directly with Security Metrics and other PCI DSS validated certification centers. Call us today at 866.823.1960 so our helpful customer service agents can show you how to become PCI DSS compliant.

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