PCI Compliance

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The Payment Card Industry also referred to as PCI operates under specific rules and regulations. The security standards ensure companies dealing with cards operate in a secure environment. All the companies must then operate under the set rules and ensure PCI compliance. That is the only security of credit card transactions in the payment industry.

 Any business that transacts with cards must follow the PCI compliance standards to protect credit card data. They need to secure and protect the information they get from customers through card transactions in a secure and protected environment. The PCI Security Standards Councils are the developers and the team responsible for ensuring PCI compliance. They follow to make sure every business is CPI compliant so that they do not suffer from the possible consequences of noncompliance.

PCI compliance is essential for any business that accepts payment by using a credit card or debit card to avoid dealing with stolen card data. It does not matter the business’s size for as long as it transacts with cards, it must be PCI compliant. Failure to follow the set standards makes it possible for both the company and their clients to suffer through stolen data.

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How Does PCI Compliance Affect Your Business?

If you accept card payment in your small, big or medium business, you must adhere to the PCI Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). It ensures you process your card transactions in a secure setting to protect your business and customers. If your customers pay you with either a credit or debit card, you must make sure you apply the PCI DSS set standards for security purposes. Non-compliance can harm your business as long as you accept payment through either a credit card or debit card. If you see a non-compliant fee applied by your card processor, it should serve as a reminder that you need to be compliant. Otherwise, it may lead to severe consequences.

If you are PCI compliant, you are entitled to constant help from your processor. The processor should be ready to offer you regular scanning services and up-to-date protection advice. It is essential to make sure that you do not leave any room to regret receiving payment through the cards.

If you are operating an eCommerce business, the use of credit and debit cards is very significant. They offer ease, convenience, and flexibility for the payment of goods and services. But you as the business owner need to be very well informed to understand the possible losses that you can suffer through card transactions. Increased eCommerce transactions lead to increased use of stolen information. Thus, there is a need for eCommerce owners to protect their data and cash, as well as any sensitive business information. Without proper security, hackers can access both business and customer information. They corrupt the system to hack information making the businesses suffer a bad reputation and losses if they are not PCI compliant. The best way to protect your business is by taking the PCI Compliance certificate to ensure your business is free from any crime attack and theft.

How Much Does PCI Compliance Cost

Although businesses always consider the compliance cost as a high cost in their business, the truth is that non-compliance is more costly. There is a loss of revenue and the cost of lawsuits. That is more loss that can affect a business due to a data breach. The best approach is to consider compliance cost as a recurring expense to incorporate the annual budget’s compliance requirements. That is the only way to avoid looking at the compliance cost as a shock. Various factors affect PCI Compliance, and you need to consider them before determining the price. The cost varies from one business to another with the number of transactions per year, being the key determining factor. It also depends on whether you are dealing with third-party cards or accepting card payments directly. When you are considering the PCI compliance cost, you have to factor in the following:

  1. PCI fees
  2. Qualified security assessment
  3. Hardware
  4. In-house PCI Knowledge
  5. Senior leadership
  6. Physical environment
  7. Number of employees
  8. Business type and
  9. Number of transactions processed in a year

All nine factors affect the amount you will pay for your PCI compliance certificate to a certain level.

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Step By Step Guidance on How to Become Compliant

  1. Determine Your PCI Level

Merchants categorized in different sets depending on how many transactions they carry out per year. The first level is the one that has over six million transactions per year. Group two are businesses with transactions ranging from one million to six million in one year. Those with transactions ranging from 20000 to one million are in level three. The fourth group is for anyone with transactions below twenty thousand in a year.

  1. Understand Why You Need to Meet the Set Standards and the Penalties for Failure

You need to understand that compliance is essential for protecting your business and your customer information. You should also know that it will cost you less to pay the cost of compliance than to face the consequences of non-compliance.

  1. Complete the Self -Assessment Questionnaire

You can obtain the correct self-assessment forms from the PCI Security Standards Council website, fill them and submit to the council.

  1. Build and Maintain Secure Network to Protect the Card Owner Data

It would be best if you found an IT contractor that you can trust because it is easier for you to leave most of the work to the specialist. The best contractor will discuss your firewall and help you to implement a robust password.

  1. Fill out a Formal Attestation of Compliance and Keep the Paperwork with the Credit Card Companies

Once you fill out the forms, you need to have a qualified security assessor to review your work. If there is anything that needs correction, the assessor will point it out for you. Keeping the paperwork is an important indication that you are compliant. Although it may look like a technically difficult road for any business, it is worth it.

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