You must have come across the term “PCI compliance” a lot of times, if you have employed payment processing systems in your business. Whether it is some uniformed fees on the credit card, or an email notification, the name is familiar to you. PCI non-compliance can be a tricky topic for merchants because they tend to neglect this issue. Most people live with the fact that they are keeping the payment information of the customers safe, all of which may not be sufficient from the processor’s point of view. So how does one avoid incurring PCI non-compliance fees?
A majority of merchants refer to online resources to see how to be PCI compliant in all aspects, only to find a bunch of mixed jargons that talk about fines, instead of the measures one should be taking. However, there is a very simple method to follow when looking to become PCI compliant. Here are the steps to take when assessing your business.
Taking a deep look at your basic process is the best starting point. How are you taking the debit or credit card payments? Is the payment being done over the phone? Where do you store the card numbers for recurring payments? When handling confidential and sensitive customer information, these things can create loopholes. Take a look at your IT assets to catch any potential risk you may face, and also keep an eye on the company processes for handling sensitive data.
Once you take note of your weak points, you need to figure out ways in which you are fixing the loopholes. One important step that you should definitely take is to avoid storing personal data. If you have a land-based store, it may not be important to keep the confidential data, but in case you are running a business that employs card-not present transaction, you have to make sure that the data is being properly stored and handled. In such a situation, you need to consider how payments are getting processed and look for a safer approach of handling payments.
Once you are done completing the abovementioned steps, the next action is to submit the report to the processor. This is certainly the only way to represent your business as PCI compliant to your processors. In case there was any surcharge fee on your statement, it should disappear, if you are being evaluated as now being PCI compliant.
For a majority of merchants, there’s nothing called avoiding PCI compliance. However, there are choices for organizations to minimize what’s in scope for compliance. Even with that reduction, it is imperative to recognize the actual intent of requirements. These are basically required for the protection of the customer data, but they can also serve as a reference point for a much more complete information security program to assist your organization in addressing a broader range of security issues. It is always advisable to keep fraud at bay.