To understand PCI compliance, you first need to understand what PCI is. PCI stands for Payment Card Industry. This means that the PCI Compliance security standards are set by the credit card companies themselves – not your individual payment provider. However, it is up to your payment provider to enforce these security standards.
No matter how big or how small your business is, you must comply with PCI standards. They are put in place to ensure all companies maintain a secure environment to take credit card transactions – therefore, reducing the risk of fraud.
What Does PCI Compliance Mean?
The security standards your business needs to meet in order to to gain and maintain PCI compliance vary depending on transaction volume, industry, and most importantly your processing solution. Transactional volume will determine which of the 4 PCI compliance levels your business will be grouped under.
Your processing solutions with determine which security standards need to be met to maintain PCI Compliance. Examples include locking your cash register to ensure only verified employees can make transactions and for eCommerce businesses, ensuring you have an up to date firewall at all times.
Do I Need to Be PCI Compliant?
In order to verify that your business is PCI compliant, you must complete an annual PCI Compliance questionnaire. If you do not fill out this survey, verifying that you are PCI compliant, you will see a fee on your merchant statement entitled “PCI Non-Compliance Fee.” This fee of $19.95 is coming directly from the credit card companies themselves and not your payment provider.
How Do I Become PCI Compliant?
Your payment provider should be ensuring that you are PCI compliant in order to not only avoid this fee but also confirm that your business maintains the highest level of security. Be sure to watch out for a “PCI Compliance Fee” on your monthly statement, some providers will charge this monthly in exchange for helping you maintaining PCI compliance, taking advantage of you and your business. This fee is easily avoidable and if you are being charged for it you should look for a new processor.
Here at Fattmerchant, we ensure that you are PCI compliant within 30 days of signing up with us (at no cost to you!). We believe that not only do you have better ways to spend your money than on noncompliance fees but also it is our job to ensure your business is as secure as possible. If you have any questions about PCI compliance that I didn’t cover, leave a comment below and we’ll get you the answers!