Does PCI Compliance Apply to Me?

Picture this for a second. You go to the mall and buy something from your favorite store. It could be a burger, some shoes, or a new phone. When you get home, you find something wrong with your purchase. Who do you blame? Is it yourself for poor spending? Is it the mall for not vetting their tenants? Is it the shop where you made the purchase, or the entire brand for being flawed? More importantly, what do you do about it?

Do you swear never to go to that mall again, or do you visit a different store location of the same brand? How much of your decision will be based on how the mall, brand, or salesperson responds to your complaint when you go back? Will you even bother to go back and present your problem?

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes

It’s easy to look at things this way when you’re the affronted party. But when it’s your business under attack, you quickly lose perspective. After all, you sell products and services. Yes, you let customers pay by card, but you don’t know anything about it. You may have no programming skills, and you might not even know the customer’s email, let alone their PIN. They swipe and type and you issue a receipt – that’s the extent of your involvement. What does payment card industry compliance have to do with you? As it turns out, a lot.

Your business is responsible for complying with PCI, and non-compliance could have negative consequences. If your chosen payment gateway isn’t compliant, Visa may refuse to work with them. That means even if your customers swipe their cards, Visa may not authorize the transaction, which could cost you that sale. Worse, if their card is accepted everywhere else, your potential customer may conclude your business is shifty.

PCI terms may seem befuddling to you as a business. Fortunately, it isn’t something you need detailed knowledge of. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have a rough idea, but your only real responsibility is to sign up with a merchant processor that’s fully and consistently compliant, and which will guide you through the PCI compliance process. It keeps your business and your customers protected.

For more information on how PCI compliance requirements apply to you, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to


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