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What is Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance?

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Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance

Payment card industry compliance, or PCI compliance, refers to the number of technical and operational standards, which are followed by businesses to ensure a safe payment environment and protect credit card data provided by cardholders and which is transmitted through multiple card processing transactions. In general, PCI compliance is approved by credit card companies and discussed in credit card network agreements.

The development of the standards for PCI compliance is the responsibility of the PCI Standards Council, Card Association Network, and the National Automated Clearing House (NACHA). These standards are later applied for merchant processing.

Standards of PCI

The requirements developed by the Standards Council are known as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). It is a must for merchants to follow them in order to reduce the likelihood of their cardholders’ private information being stolen.

PCI DSS has six major objectives, which are:

  1. To build and maintain a secure network and systems
  2. To maintain a vulnerability management program
  3. To protect cardholder data 
  4. To monitor and test networks regularly
  5. To maintain an Information security policy
  6. To implement strong access control measures

Tools and resources 

PCI Standards Council provides merchants with tools and resources to follow PCI compliance standards, which include:

  • PIN transaction security (PTS) requirements for device vendors and manufacturers and a list of approved PIN transaction devices.
  • Self-assessment questionnaires to assist organizations in validating their PCI DSS compliance.
  • Payment application data security standard (PA-DSS) and a list of validated payment applications to help software vendors and others develop secure payment applications.

Benefits of PCI compliance

PCI  DSS proved to be a reliable way of securing a safe environment not only for small companies but also for big corporations. Following data security standards can bring a number of advantages, such as:

  • Trust of your clients. The more secure your payment system is the better to gain the trust of your customers. They will be confident when using your system and therefore won’t hesitate to use it on a regular basis.
  • PCI compliance is an ongoing process, the goal of which is to get rid of payment card data theft and security breaches and is constantly developing. Following PCI DSS ensures a stable work of your system not only in present but in the future as well. 
  • PCI DSS is a good way to improve your reputation with acquirers and payment brands.

 

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