Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS)
Any merchant, bank, financial institution or entity that transmits, processes or stores sensitive card holder data is required to comply to the security standards set by the payment industry (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express). Any business or individual who wants to accept payment cards must comply with the PCI Security Standards, regardless of how many or how few transactions are processed.
In order to become PCI Compliant, within the first 60 days of opening a merchant account, a self-assessment questionnaire must be completed. A scan may also be required if any equipment is processing over an Internet connection, to determine the safety of your network and firewalls. Once the questionnaire is passed and your business is PCI Compliant, you are protected for 365 days. Questionnaires must be completed yearly.
Being compliant means your business is aware of the risk associated with transmitting card holder information and is taking the necessary precautions to protect that data. Being compliant also means that your business is insured for up to $10,000 per breach, as well as two Chargeback Fees (a $50 value). If a breach were to occur, and your processing information, or your customers card holder information is stolen, your business is protected by Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express and they will assist you in absorbing the costs associated with any breach whether it be overdraft fees, reimbursement of stolen funds and so on, up to $10,000 worth of damage.
All merchant providers have different ways of charging for this service. Some charge a yearly PCI Compliant fee, others monthly or quarterly. To ensure your account is compliant, you may also see Non-Compliance or Non-Validation fees for those of which have expired certificates or need to complete the questionnaire. This Non-Compliant charge may seem like a money grab, but it’s more of a way to get your attention. If you see a Non-Compliant fee on your statements, please call our office today to get your account resolved and complaint. It is imperative that you are protected, compliant and processing as safely as possible.
For more information, or to book a consultation online, please visit our Facebook page and schedule an appointment.