Why is PCI Compliance Important?

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Why PCI Compliance Is Important

In 2020, PCI compliance is more important than ever before. As data security remains headline news, consumers are becoming more aware (and almost paranoid) about their data. Even people who generally aren’t too careful with their data know to protect their card data, and businesses know to be careful so as to avoid those headaches. The PCI DSS is here to help ease those concerns, and your business should comply.

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For the uninitiated, the PCI DSS is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. This is a set of rough guidelines implemented by card brands to protect cardholder information. Businesses follow these guidelines to do the same.

If you’re working to become PCI compliant, our PCI compliance checklist can help you out. It’s a simple, 3-minute survey that will let you know where you stand with the PCI DSS. We’ll give you a PCI score, and an idea of how you can improve it. We’re always happy to help with your payment processing needs, and PCI compliance is certainly one of them – as you’re about to see.

Why PCI Compliance Is Important For Your Business

PCI Compliance has 3 major benefits that make it important: data security, customer trust, and protection for both business and their customers. Each of these is, of course, tied together with a thread of prevention. The goal of the PCI DSS is to reduce the risk of data breaches and theft for both the business and the consumer. The quickest way to summarize the importance of PCI compliance is: it helps keep your customer’s data safe.

Data Security

Data security is the desired outcome of the PCI DSS, which is born out of data risk. In this case, the supervillain came before the superhero. Before we thought to prevent data issues, bad actors thought to exploit them. Now that we’ve stepped our game up, bad actors have a plethora of methods to attempt. The PCI DSS looks at easy points of risk and protects them. By being PCI Compliant, you’re putting locks on your doors that absolutely need to be there.

Consumer Security

Because the PCI DSS leads to data security, it also makes consumers feel more secure. Imagine you’re going to a concert, and you’ve never been to the venue before. You arrive and you see no security at the door, people are just walking in. How would that make you feel? Would you feel different if you saw even just 1 or 2 people walking around with SECURITY written on their backs? Probably, right?

PCI compliance does the same for your customers. We’ve all heard countless stories of issues racked up by buying from the wrong website. Especially in the eCommerce business, people are very aware of the potential risk of their credit card information being stolen. When you’re probably PCI compliant, customers will see that and know that you’re looking to protect their information just as much as they are.

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Data Breach Protection

Finally, PCI compliance is important for making sure you’re doing everything possible to prevent data breaches. That’s what makes customers feel more secure in doing business with you. PCI compliance protects customer information to the highest possible standard without you needing to have your own information security team. You never want your customers to be at risk, so it’s important to be PCI compliant on their behalf.

This also reduces risk on your end, of course. Not only is your business data more secure when you’re PCI compliant, but the ramifications of a data breach are also significantly lessened. So even if something does go wrong, you’ll be in a much better spot when it does. This allows you to rest a little bit easier at night, hopefully not constantly thinking about your risk for a data breach.

The Numbers Behind PCI Compliance’s Importance

Beyond the intangibles, there are two major costs associated with PCI non-compliance. The first is merchant non-compliance fees, which should be deterrent enough. Failing to certify with your service providers will incur additional fees on your merchant statement.

Sign up for our PCI Compliance Checklist and become compliant today!

Additionally, if you experience a breach you can be charged up to $5,000 for each exposed record. Getting compliant is much easier and much cheaper, so it’s best to avoid the issue.

Heshy Friedman from Radial Creations has seen many merchants get blindly charged a monthly non-compliance fee, simply because their merchant services provider never bothered to communicate with them about resolving the issue. Heshy had this to say on the topic: 

“To avoid getting charged with this fee, it is important to work with a company where customer service is at the forefront of their offerings. They will work with their clients to avoid this happening in the first place. Many companies are quick to get a good rate and lower fees, but they are terrible at customer retention because they are not looking out for the customer once they are signed up to make sure they aren’t racking up unnecessary fees.”

Proving compliance prevents fines, and shows due diligence in the event of a lawsuit.

Benefiting From PCI Compliance

Of course, PCI compliance is important for reasons that aren’t just preventing bad things from happening. There are plenty of reasons to be PCI compliant, not the least of which being that it gives your company an edge on its competitors. If you are PCI compliant and your competitors aren’t, customers and other businesses will trust you more.

Along the same lines, PCI compliance reduces friction in your cash flow. Does your payment processing company hold money for longer than you’d like them to sometimes? That’s never fun. PCI compliance is a great way to show them that you’re on top of your card data security, and cut down on processing time – and fees! It also can help in the event of any issues that might crop up, like sudden policy changes or – y’know – a pandemic.

PCI DSS compliance is important for your business and for protecting your customers. It might seem like an intimidating beast, but it really isn’t. By using our PCI compliance checklist today, you’ll immediately understand where you stand with the PCI. If you’re struggling to get up to snuff with the PCI DSS or have questions about becoming PCI compliant, contact us or reach out on social media.

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