Is PCI Compliance Required?

Payment Card Industry (PCI) requirements are a set of guidelines set up by states to protect people that use online credit card charging services.

If you do have a credit card merchant account or will get one soon, it’s a good idea to know the ins and outs of PCI requirements so your business can stay compliant. It could be a costly mistake if you stay negligent, so read on to learn what you should do to compensate for the lack of in-person interactions during the quarantine.

PCI requirements in a nutshell

PCI requirements are not legally mandated and no one can hold you criminally accountable for violating them. If you’re wondering, “Is PCI compliance required?” then you may be happy to hear the answer from a criminal legal standpoint is “no.” However, violating the rules it establishes to protect those who allow companies to process their credit cards online may result in potential legal liability in the event of a fraudulent transaction, as well as increased fees.

In other words, PCI requirements, whether technically “mandatory” or not, are essential to maintaining good business practices in the long run.

Many of the rules are both common sense and good business practice. For example, PCI requirements designate that online stores should have a minimum level of encryption for data processing. PCI requirements also dictate that your business should change any default passwords on your credit card merchant account and limit who has access to those passwords.

If you don’t have this protections for your online transactions, and one of your customers has their data stolen because of it, you could be financially liable. Also, aside from the liability issues, any identity theft that occurs as a result of a lack of security features on your credit card charging services can make your business appear untrustworthy.

Your next steps

Is PCI compliance required? Nobody is going to take you to jail if you violate it. However, it could impact your business’s standing with customers and the reputation it has, as well as subject you to financial liability for troubles that crop up, and result in additional fees from your payment processor.

The first thing to do is to review the PCI requirements and make sure your business is compliant.

The Takeaway

Credit card charging services have a responsibility to keep their customers’ data safe. You may be wondering, “Is PCI compliance required?” but instead you should be wondering how staying PCI compliant can help you protect your finances and your customers.

Many businesses are dealing with a higher volume of clients during the COVID-19 quarantine and this makes PCI compliance even more important. Call (888) 924-2743 or or visit to learn your options and find a payment solution that will enable you to comply with all applicable PCI requirements.

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