Do you want to initiate a business online? Are you going to sell services or products on the internet? It means you need to find suitable methods of payment. If so, look for good merchant services.
In general, PCI compliance is a must for all businesses taking credit cards for payments during online transactions. It keeps the transactions secure and protects the card information against identity theft. Merchants processing, transmitting, or storing credit card data should be PCI compliant, as per the security standard of the PCI compliance council.
The key problem of the PCI DSS for merchants is it appears as a technical subject. It is not clear, and when they look out for more information, they do not understand anything about the security standards and requirements.
What is PCI Compliance?
PCI DSS compliance refers to regulations developed by the major card brands, MasterCard, Visa, JCB, Discover, and American Express. This scheme needs the organizations to fulfill the data security requirements that merchants also follow. There are a few requirements that merchant services should meet:
- Maintain and build a secure network
- Protect cardholder data and the storage
- Maintain vulnerability management program
- Restricting access a must-know for business so that the cardholder data is safe
- Install a firewall and maintain to ensure the safety of cardholders data
- Implementing strong control measures to access
- PCI DSS Compliance requirements
- Use update regularly and anti-virus program or software
- Monitor and test networks regularly
- Avoid vendor-supplied system default passwords
- Assign unique id for people accessing the computers
- Encrypt cardholder data transmission
- Test regularly the security processes and systems
- Restrict physical access to customers data
- Monitor and track access to cardholder data and network resources
The PCI compliance requirements apply to all merchants, no matter their volume of transactions or size. There are four compliance levels, and each comes with conditions.
The merchants in level 4 are the people doing a transaction of $20000 per year; the smallest amount, and level 1 are people doing the highest business annually of more than 6 million transactions. Thus, depending on the merchant processing or transmitting card data, you must fill the form. The difference in the levels is that level 4, features self-assessment only, and level 1 features qualified security assessor audit processing.
PCI DSS is useful internationally, and it comes with organizations costs and significant penalties if one does not apply for the standard requirements.
What if Not PCI Compliant?
Not PCI Compliant leads to crucial security incidents to avoid the data breach risk that may damage your brand. Thus, it is recommended and advised to comply with the standards of PCI.
There are some more reasons:
- You must know that a breach comes with validating and checking your business to understand if you have PCI compliance. Remember, the non-compliant companies will have to pay heavy fines. The data breaches resulting in consumer fraud come with losses by the issuing banks. Thus a company that fails to protect card information must pay estimated losses.
- Selling online with PCI Compliance means be ready to face the security risks and the penalties, such as heavy fines. The fine amount depends on the transaction volume and taking into account the PCI DSS violations. You need to pay until the issue does not resolve.
Bear in mind that the security consequences for data breaches are high and may result in a brand reputation loss, besides losing customers. No doubt, the data breach may be devastating for businesses. There is a possibility of losing the right to accept card payments, which means going out of business.
What to do?
Companies must provide ongoing information to their acquiring bank and give evidence of their ability to prevent breaches. If they fail to meet the conditions, they will lose the ability to process card or mobile credit card processing payments.
Getting compliance is not easy, and it takes a few weeks. You must apply and prepare for the process. Each level features a self-assessment questionnaire, and the procedure reveals your level, keeping with the highest for level 1. It is the reason that the merchants prefer working with payment providers covering all the issues of PCI compliance.
The PCI requirements allow you to choose your payment provider that complies with the PCI DSS to avoid struggles later on. It means the payments process will go on smoothly without touching the details of the customer’s cards.