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PCI Compliance - Credit Card Data Security

PCI complianceWhat is it?

PCI DSS is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. It's all about keeping the data required for making credit card transactions secure wherever it is used.

So, why should you care about this PCI Compliance?

The Credit Card industry has been requiring increased security in the way credit card data is used, transmitted and stored in order to prevent fraud - a very high cost of doing business for them. The PCI DSS Council was set up in September 2006 to manage the improvement process.

Larger companies that make thousands of transactions have been the main target for this security increase but the bar is being reduced more and more and is now getting down to the smaller merchants. That's us I'm afraid?

What does this mean to you - more cost and some paperwork!

As Visa and Mastercard require the additional security, they are requiring that entities involved with transacting credit card data meet some increased security criteria. This is predominantly a self-assessment questionnaire that you would complete and return to your merchant account provider.

Each provider may incur fees and fines for their merchants not being compliant and these costs are most likely to be passed on to the merchant in some form.

What do I need to do now?

Maybe nothing if you have a merchant account already and have not been requested to become PCI compliant. If you are looking for a provider then you should ask each one you are considering when they will be rolling out PCI Compliance and how they are going to charge for it. Some may make a monthly or annual charge or increase the discount rate.

For more information

PCI Compliance Guide