What are PCI Requirements?

Payment card industry (PCI) requirements are a set of security standards that protects customers who use internet merchant services to pay for goods and services with their credit and debit card online. It is important for people who run businesses that use or plan on using online merchant accounts to process their customers’ credit cards to be aware of PCI requirements and how compliance could affect liability in credit card fraud cases or other disputes.

Read on to learn more about PCI law and improve compliance, which could be extremely profitable for retailers no matter the size of their client base.

How are PCI requirements enforced?

The first thing to know about PCI law is that it’s not official law enforced by the government. The PCI requirements are a set of standards that define the functional relationship between card companies and merchants. When companies open an online merchant account to process credit cards and debit cards through their online store, remaining PCI-compliant keeps them in good standing with credit card companies, avoiding fees and provides significant protection to businesses from liability in certain kinds of cases of fraud or identity theft that occur on their account.

How to remain PCI-compliant

Remaining PCI-compliant keeps retailers in good standing with their internet merchant account provider as well as more protected in cases of credit card fraud. Most PCI requirements revolve around protection for customers by way of establishing security on the merchant’s end. Since any retailer that offers credit or debit cards as a payment option has to process cardholders’ sensitive financial information, however briefly, security that protects those cardholders makes up the bulk of PCI law.

In addition to protecting cardholder data, PCI law also mandates firewall configuration that adds further protection against hackers and reduces the chance of identity theft. This applies to other security applications as well, including updated anti-virus software.

Data processed between banks should be encrypted on modern payment systems. Businesses that use internet merchant accounts should also not be using the default passwords that the programs came with. Security measures, network access, anti-malware programs, and passwords should all be refined and customized for each business so that hackers can’t get in using the vendor’s defaults.

Merchants can request a more thorough list of all PCI requirements that may apply specifically to their businesses and compliance assistance from their payment processor.

The Takeaway

Remaining compliant with PCI requirements is extremely important as it protects customers against their financial information being stolen, and helps to avoid fines that may be imposed by credit card payment processors.

Visit Charge.com or call (888) 924-2743 for more information or to obtain merchant account services that comply with PCI law and keep cardholders’ personal information safe.

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