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3 Facts You Should Know About Payment Card Industry Compliance

Credit card information is one of the most sensitive personal information anyone can have. Access to this information could mean access to one’s bank accounts.

In the modern era, the use of digital payment methods has put the reliability of credit cards to the test. But we are in times where the globe is heavily relying on cashless transactions, with virtual-based payments rapidly gaining an edge.

These days, all you need to key in a few digits from your credit card information to process the payment of the goods or services you want to order.

Well, you save time, money, and effort. As convenient, efficient, and affordable as it may be, however, it also comes with a fair share of risks.

Talk of hacking, phishing scams, and the like, which lead to credit card fraud, identity theft, and other forms of cybercrime-related to credit cards. This is why PCI (payment card industry) compliance is in place for every company handling credit card information.

What Is PCI?

In a nutshell, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) was formed in 2006 by major card companies like American Express, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and JCB.

The main aim of coming up with this body was to make sure that all companies that processed, stored, or transmitted credit card information maintained a secure environment.

The body created standards that any company that dealt with credit card information would have to comply with.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at three facts you need to know about payment card industry compliance.

1. Failure to Comply Will Cost Your Business A Lot of Money

The founders of the payment card industry are some of the biggest companies in the world handling credit card information.

Their main goal is to make sure consumers can extend their services to making online payments without any safety or security concerns.

This is why the PCI DSS was formed in the first place. Failure to be or stay compliant with the PCI regulations will attract several fines and penalties to your business.

Adherence to these standards is not only helpful in protecting the consumers of the companies offering these credit card services but also ensuring your security as a business.

This is all the more reason to work with PCI compliance experts and consultants. Using their experience and professionalism, these experts will help protect your brand and avoid costly liabilities.

They can help save you a lot of time and frustration, considering how complex PCI compliance issues can get as your business grows and accumulates data. Remember, when your business is found to be the reason a client lost money or was hacked, a few things can happen.

One of the reasons data breach is costly is that the customer (or the PCI) may decide to sue you, which is bad for business. It attracts losses as a result of the lawsuit expenses, not forgetting the compensation you would make to the claimant if the court ruled in their favor.

You might even lose the privilege of accepting card payments due to non-compliance. This could jeopardize the success of your business from multiple fronts.

2. The Requirements for PCI Compliance

For any business to term themselves as compliant, they have to meet the following 12 requirements:

  • Protect cardholder data
  • Have proper password protection
  • Use and maintain firewalls
  • Encrypt transmitted data
  • Restrict data access
  • Assign unique IDs to the technical team
  • Restrict physical access to cardholder information
  • Make regular updates to antivirus software or programs
  • Test for vulnerabilities regularly
  • Create and maintain access logs
  • Maintain policies addressing information security for employees & contractors

The payment card industry compliance requires companies dealing with consumer credit card information to adhere to these requirements.

They mostly revolve around the technical aspects of card transactions, ensuring that no information that may lead to data breaches will leak.

3. PCI DSS Offers Way You Upgrade Your Security Systems

Since the PCI DSS is concerned with making sure credit card information is protected, it is fair that they provide the regulated companies with ways to improve their security systems.

In most cases, they are concerned with the passwords companies use to protect their consumers from data breaches.

From a report filed on data breach investigations back in 2017, it was determined that apart from hacking, the majority of data breaches were as a result of stolen and/or weak passwords. The PCI SSC, therefore, urges businesses to personalize their passwords from the vendor-supplied defaults.

Choosing complex passwords and changing them regularly ensure that consumer data is always safe.

Anytime a company has their systems under maintenance, they are required to change passwords or any other detail that may have been exposed and might jeopardize the security of consumer credit card information.

The organization provides merchants with guides on how to make sure their systems are as secure as they should be. Credit cards offer a great deal of convenience, especially when you are short of cash and need to make purchases or payments.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) was formed to make sure that consumer credit card information is kept safe by all companies utilizing it. This piece has highlighted some of the facts that you need to know about this.

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