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If your small business accepts credit cards, the answer is simple: yes, your business needs to become PCI compliant. But what exactly is PCI, how does it relate to your business and why should your business become PCI compliant?
Let’s break it down.
What is PCI?
By definition, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of security standards designed to ensure that all companies that accept, process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.
The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) was founded in 2006 by Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover and JCB, to manage the ongoing evolution of PCI security standards with a focus on improving payment account security through the transaction process.
In everyday language, it means that the Payment Networks developed the PCI standards to strengthen data security to combat data compromises.
How does PCI relate to your small business?
PCI compliance applies to any business, no matter the size, number of transactions or industry type that accepts, transmits or stores cardholder data.
It doesn’t matter if you accept one credit card transaction a year or 10,000 a night. If your business accepts credit cards, you need to become PCI compliant to protect your cardholder’s data. This will also help your business to protect itself from data breaches, as well as security and cyber attacks.
Why should your business become PCI compliant?
All businesses are at risk for having sensitive data (such as customer card data) compromised. Although nothing will completely eliminate your exposure to the theft of this data, your compliance with PCI DSS will help reduce your risk significantly.
By not becoming PCI compliant, there are a number of potential consequences, liabilities and damages that your business may face, including:
- Loss of customers and their trust
- Diminished sales
- Cost of reissuing new payment cards
- Fraud losses
- Higher subsequent costs of compliance
- Legal costs, settlements and judgments
- Fines and penalties
- Termination of ability to accept payment cards
- Lost jobs
- Going out of business
In fact, 60 percent of small companies will go out of business within six months of suffering a cyber data breach attack.
While becoming PCI compliant is important, it can also be overwhelming and confusing. Luckily, when you begin accepting payments through International Bancard, we easily walk you through becoming PCI compliant. We also have a team of PCI experts on standby to help you and answer any questions you may have.