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What is PCI Compliance? And should it concern me?

August 12th, 2008

If you are a merchant accepting Visa or Mastercard chances are you have received something from your processor, or a phone call alerting you of the new PCI compliance standards and your responsibilities for meeting them. If you are a merchant, vendor or service provider reading this information for the first time, and have not heard about PCI compliance it might be time-or past time-to question and contact your merchant service provider, acquirer or credit card issuer.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) applies to every organization that processes credit or debit card information, including merchants and third-party service providers that store, process or transmit credit card/debit card data. If you are one of the above, PCI Compliance is not a request, or suggestion, it is now a requirement.

PCI Compliance can best be understood as a set of  rules that states what security measures must be taken to protect the private information of employers, employees and consumers during any transaction occurring with the use of a paycard. The main goal of the new standards is to cut down on the number of identity theft and credit card fraud cases, which affected 57.7 million individuals in 2005 alone. The enforcement of these rules requires certain auditing and validation procedures.

If your business is currently PCI DSS compliant, that does not necessarily mean that it will continue to be compliant indefinitely. Compliance to the PCI DSS rules will continue indefinitely, as new technologies and new ways of hacking personal data continue also. The best practice is always to stay educated about the topic and check regularly with your processor to ensure that you are taking the necessary steps to protect yourself an your customers.

Visit us often as we will continue to post about PCI Compliance issues and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions regarding this or any other topic. We are open to suggestions for material.

Some other great sources of information on the topic we have found are:

Entry Filed under: Advice,Rules and Regulations

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