What is PCI Compliance?

As businesses continue to see a drop in cash transactions, the ability to accept credit cards and other payment methods is practically a must-have in business. However, it also comes with distinct responsibilities. You need to ensure that your customer information is secure and that you are enforcing policies that prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. This is where the Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance comes in. It sets standards to prevent these vulnerabilities and so much more.

Defining PCI Compliance

PCI compliance involves guidelines that inform businesses on how to store customer data and process card-based transactions. Businesses that accept card-based payments need to be PCI compliant and they may also be asked to prove it is in compliance with protocols. 

The 6 Basic Areas Of PCI Compliance

Secure The System

Building a secure network is the first step that every business should take. Installing a firewall that protects customer card data is crucial. Practical steps follow, such as changing default usernames and passwords to something that isn’t easily guessed.

Encrypt Cardholder Information

Encrypt cardholder data as it is transmitted through the payment gateway. This way, customer information within the PCI gateway is not vulnerable.

Maintain Network Standards

Regular maintenance, such as using anti-virus programs and following best practices when it comes to password use, should be followed.

Limit Access To Cardholder Data

Always make sure that users with clearance to access cardholder data need to enter unique login credentials. Restrict access only to those who absolutely need to view the data. Physical access to the data should be restricted as well.

Monitor The Network

Monitor your system by paying attention to users who log into the cardholder information network. Test your firewall and security systems on a regular basis.

Establish An Information Security Policy

Create an information security policy for employees and contractors of third-parties who have access to sensitive data.

What happens in the event of PCI Non-Compliance?

The consequences of PCI non-compliance include high fees and legal liability. Aside from a monthly fee, from $30 to $100 a month, you may be held liable if cyber criminals gain access to customer credit card data.

When you choose a payments processor like ReliaFund as your partner in processing credit card payments and other methods, there’s no need to worry about PCI compliance, because we will handle it for you. Save on the cost and headaches of non-compliance consequences—and it’s one less thing on your plate too. Contact us to learn more.