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PCI Compliance in Payments Solution: What it Means and How PCI DSS Affects Businesses

Payment card fraud is on the rise. Criminals are getting more sophisticated and using new payment methods to perpetrate their fraud. The primary reason for this is that payment processing has become much more convenient than it was even five years ago. With the rise of mobile payments and digital wallets, users have discovered that they can make purchases with their smartphones instead of having to visit a physical store to do so. In order to compete with these new forms of payment, banks and card issuers began implementing a set of security standards known as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). These standards regulate the way merchants handle cardholder data, prominent examples including requiring password access control and limiting access to networked computer systems. While you may not realize it, your payments solution likely comes under these regulations as well. Here’s what you need to know about PCI compliance in payments solution:

 

What is PCI Compliance?


PCI stands for Payment Card Industry. In order to comply with PCI regulations, a merchant’s payment processing solution must adhere to the standards set forth by the payment card industry. These standards, created in 1988, were created to help ensure payment security and privacy for cardholders. Merchants that adhere to these standards are given the assurance that their customers’ payment details will remain confidential and secure. For the most part, merchants are required to adhere to several security standards in order to be considered compliant with PCI regulations. These core standards include the following: - Strong physical security - This includes protecting equipment and software from access by unauthorized individuals. - Secure network and system access - This involves applying strict access control policies to all network resources, including servers and storage devices. - Compliance monitoring - This involves ensuring that all employees understand the importance of maintaining a secure environment and are actively monitoring their activities. - Business impact analysis - This involves conducting a thorough analysis of the risks posed by payment processing activities and developing a risk management plan to address any security threats.

 

PCI DSS and the Payment Card Industry


The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard was created to help protect the data that is transferred between merchants and cardholders. This data is especially important to merchants. As the result of a transaction, it could be possible for a hacker to gain access to a customer’s credit card account. This could result in the loss of money that was owed to the merchant. The standards themselves were created by the American Association of Automated Information Systems in response to numerous security breaches that had occurred. These breaches typically took place at merchant locations and involved access to card data. In order to comply with these standards, merchants’ payment processing solutions must adhere to the unique requirements of each credit card issuing bank. This includes ensuring that every device used to process transactions adheres to the same security standards.


What Merchants Need to Know about PCI Compliance


Here are some key points that should inform you about the importance of complying with PCI regulations in your payments solution. - Merchants must ensure that customers’ data is secure. A compliant solution must encrypt card data before it is transferred, and it must securely store this data. - PCI compliance is essential for e-commerce merchants. In order to accept credit card transactions, you must be compliant. PCI compliance also applies to transactions processed via check or direct deposit, as well as ACH (Automated Clearing House) transactions. - Adhering to these standards can yield significant benefits. A compliant solution can reduce your fraud rates and significantly increase your revenue. Adhering to these standards can also help you to attract new customers and retain your current ones.

 

Benefits of PCI Compliance for Merchants


When you are compliant with PCI regulations, you gain several benefits. With a compliant solution, you can confidently accept credit card and bank transfer payments from your customers. You can also be sure that these payments are secure. When you are compliant with these regulations, you can also confidently accept payment from partners, such as third-party service providers and online advertisers. You can also rest assured that these places will accept your payments.


Conclusion


PCI compliance is critical for e-commerce merchants. These regulations not only help to prevent card theft, but they can also help to boost your profits. When you’re compliant with these regulations, you can offer your customers a wide range of payment methods. This can help to increase your sales and provide them with more ways to pay. If you’re unsure if your payment solution is compliant, the best way to find out is to speak with your payment processor. They should be able to assist you in determining whether your solution is compliant with these regulations.


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