How Does the PCI DSS Work?

Before looking at how PCI DSS works, it’s helpful understand what it is. PCI DSS, or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, is an ever-evolving set of technical standards that was launched in 2006. Improvements, updates and milestones are ongoing, and 2018 has seen a number of mew requirements being implemented. The aim is to provide a safe and secure card payment trading environment through universal standards.

According to the PCI Security Council, if you are a merchant of any size accepting credit cards, you must comply with PCI Security Council standards. So if you handle, process, transmit or store credit card data, you must comply with the PCI DSS. It is all focused on the secure handling of sensitive data and tighter security controls.

Back to how it works:

The PCI Security Council is managed by the leading card payment companies including Amex, Visa, and MasterCard, and they set the standards for best practice and security protocols. PCI DSS has twelve requirements broken down into six categories.

The categories cover everything from the building and maintenance of secure networks, to the protection of cardholder data and secure monitoring of networks. Whatever the size of your business or the volume of card payment transactions, PCI DSS applies to you. As a merchant, your business will fall into one of four levels based on the volume of transactions you process monthly. Each level has different standards of compliance, calculated on the degree of risk your business could be subject to.

Although PCI DSS is not a legal requirement, any business that avoids compliance will not only lose the confidence of their customers, but they will open themselves up to potential legal recourse and hefty fines in the event of a data breach, including fines range from $5K to $100K, the consequences to your business could be great.

Get peace of mind:

PCI DSS compliance makes sense because it allows you to focus on your business, knowing that your customers’ sensitive data is secure and that your business follows the best security standards currently available. This is the best customer service that you can offer!

By ensuring that you are PCI DSS compliant, you are giving your customers peace of mind. Just think, knowing that any data given to you is as safe and secure as possible reassures customers and tells them that you care about more than just making another sale. And that’s what successful business is all about: building trust and maintaining your reputation of genuine customer care.

On the other hand, the damage caused by the erosion of customer trust can completely destroy your brand. That makes protecting yourself and your customers’ sensitive data a no-brainer.

For more information about how the PCI DSS works,  or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to

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