What Is PCI Compliance?

 In Payment Processing

According to the PCI Guide, The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements designed to ensure that ALL companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. Essentially any merchant that has a Merchant ID (MID).

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) was launched on September 7, 2006 to manage the ongoing evolution of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards with focus on improving payment account security throughout the transaction process. The PCI DSS is administered and managed by the PCI SSC (www.pcisecuritystandards.org), an independent body that was created by the major payment card brands (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB.).

It is important to note, the payment brands and acquirers are responsible for enforcing compliance, not the PCI council.

What are the Penalties of Non-Compliance?

The payment brands may, at their discretion, fine an acquiring bank $5,000 to $100,000 per month for PCI compliance violations. The banks will most likely pass this fine on downstream till it eventually hits the merchant. Furthermore, the bank will also most likely either terminate your relationship or increase transaction fees. Penalties are not openly discussed nor widely publicized, but they can be catastrophic to a small business.

It is important to be familiar with your merchant account agreement, which should outline your exposure.

At Premier Business Advantage, we pride ourselves with our concierge PCI Compliance program. An overwhelming percentage of our merchants are PCI Compliant, as we work closely with your business annually to complete these requirements. Contact Premier Business Advantage today to learn more about PCI compliance and ensure your business is operating security and appropriately with the new guidelines.

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