PCI stands for Payment Card Industry. The PCI Standards are a prescribed set of regulations that govern online sellers. The PCI standards are intended to ensure safety and security standards in web-based transactions. While it’s not mandatory for vendors to have PCI certification, it helps to build customer trust and streamline security requirements.
In 2017, the Payment Card Industry PCI introduced additional QIR requirements. QIR stands for Qualified Integrators and Resellers. It offers additional stipulations to reassure customers that their cash and card information is safe. PCI assists customer security in more specific ways.
It creates a universal standard
Online business has a massive array of options. Merchants in different countries deal with their customers in a variety of ways, depending on cultural mores, local regulations, foreign exchange rates and so on. With so many choices and business styles, it was difficult to streamline online requirements.
In 2004, the PCI DSS (Data Security Standard) came up with a single system that could be applied and implemented all over the world. With multiple merchants, banks, and card providers all following the same rules, it became viable to assure compliance.
It keeps customer data secure
In order for eCommerce to be an accepted form of trade, consumers need to know their credit card data is secure. These details essentially offer access to their bank accounts, and if their data was compromised, they could lose all their savings in seconds. PCI ensures superior encryption standards for customer details.
Other security factors covered by the PCI include:
- Development and maintenance of a strong firewall
- Creating guidelines for an effective password
- Installing anti-virus programming and regularly updating it
- Tracking and monitoring access to card-holder data system
Some forms take this a step further. Rather than keeping their information onsite, they store it in secure cloud storage for added security.
It issues fines for non-compliance
Studies suggest that people respond better to incentives than they do to punishment. That said, punitive measures still have a role to play, because fear is a strong motivational factor in life. In addition to laying out online safety rules, PCI monitors, implements, and applies fines to eCommerce entities that don’t follow their recommendations.
To ensure these standards are being met, the PCI runs inspections on online stores. It checks whether their data is well protected, and reviews their ability and willingness to maintain security. It fishes for systemic vulnerabilities that might leave customers exposed. If it finds any, it reports these discrepancies to the relevant authorities.
Some businesses don’t worry too much about PCI, because it’s not a legal requirement for doing business. Unfortunately, if one online shop defrauds customers, it reflects badly on the entire industry, especially if the defrauded buyer was a first-time customer. That’s why the PCI issues fines of between $5,000 and $500,000. As you select a payment processor for your business, make sure you pick one that will take care of PCI compliance for your business.
For more information on why PCI compliance helps with fraud prevention, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.