What is PCI Compliance and Why Do You Need It?

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For many of us, swiping our debit and credit cards is a simple task. We are able to make our payment for our merchandise and be on our way without a single thought after. However, have you ever considered the process the merchant has to go through for your payment to be made? Are you a merchant yourself? Do you understand what PCI compliance is and why as a merchant you need to be PCI compliant?

What is PCI Compliance?

Did you know that recently the United States made up 24% of all credit card sales, but also had 50% of all credit card fraud worldwide? With these statistics, the credit card industry saw a need to regulate the problem and created the PCI DSS or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. This practice was designed to ensure ALL companies that accept, process, and store credit card payments do so properly and securely in order to maintain the safety of their clients’ information.

Why Do I as a Merchant Need to be PCI Compliant?

Keeping your customers’ credit card information safe is crucial for your business’ reputation! No one will shop at a store where they fear they may have their information stolen. The PCI DSS was created to help merchants avoid making their business or customers vulnerable to credit card fraud. After the PCI DSS came about, companies such as TrustWave were developed to help merchants understand and follow these new industry standards. All merchants that accept any type of credit card transactions, whether in store, over the phone, or online, must be PCI compliant.

What Does This Mean for You as a Merchant?

In order to have a PCI Compliant status, there are a few tasks you’ll be required to perform, including completing an annual survey to make sure you are using good practices to prevent credit card fraud. For example, are your customers’ credit card numbers and related information written down on paper and stored in a filing cabinet? This is an outdated practice that may allow fraud to take place and will therefore hinder you from being PCI compliant. By being PCI compliant, you are taking the initiative to better protect your clientele by following industry standards.

If you’d like to know more about PCI compliance and why you as a merchant need to be PCI compliant, give Electronic Money Company a call today! We look forward to getting to know more about your business.