PCI FAQs and Myths

Today, approximately 75% of consumers prefer to pay with a credit or debit card. One of the biggest reasons why these transactions have become increasingly popular in recent years is because it’s so much easier for a shopper to swipe or dip his or her card instead of carrying the right amount of cash for every purchase. Yet, although card transactions are so easy for the consumer that most people never even think about them, the opposite is true for the merchants accepting those transactions. Behind the scenes, there’s a complex infrastructure humming to help guarantee all of those card transactions are as seamless and secure as they appear to the shopper. Further, it’s the merchant’s responsibility to maintain payment processing protocol to keep transactions secure and minimize liability risks.

To help make card transactions seamless and secure, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has implemented a set of data security standards that all merchants need to follow to accept card payments. If businesses are found not to be in compliance with PCI standards, the consequences can be dire. In addition to risking their customers’ sensitive financial data, merchants who do not comply stand to be hit with monthly fines on top of the penalties they may incur from issuing banks in the event of a data breach.

PCI compliance is much too important to ignore. However, because there are so many factors to PCI, it can be difficult for merchants to separate fact from fiction. For example, businesses that use an outside vendor to process cards may be under the impression that this alone puts them in compliance. Still, it remains their responsibility to ensure that they are following the guidelines to become and remain compliant.. This guide details some of the most persistent myths about PCI compliance. Take a look and make sure your business is doing everything it should.

Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm. She has more than 20 years of experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management and marketing. Follow her on Twitter at @BluePay_CMO.