What is PCI DSS Compliance?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of security standards designed to maintain a secure environment for all entities that accept, process, store, or transfer credit card information. The PCI DSS is operated by the PCI SSC, an independent body produced by major brands of payment cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and JCB)

Compliance with PCI is required to secure and protect online transactions from identity theft. According to the PCI Compliance Security Standard Committee, any merchant that wishes to process, store or transfer credit card data is required to comply with PCI. The PCI DSS refers to any entity that receives, transmits, or retains any cardholder data, regardless of the size or number of transactions.

In short, PCI DSS is a set of regulations created by major brands of payment cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and JCB. This scheme allows organizations to meet general data security requirements that must be met by each merchant.


The following are the security requirements:

Build and Maintain a Secure Network:

To protect cardholder data, install and maintain a firewall configuration. Do not use defaults provided by the vendor for system passwords and other security parameters.

Protection of Card-Holder data:

Protect stored cardholder data. Encrypt cardholder data transmission through open public networks

Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program:

Use or upgrade anti-virus software or system regularly Develop and maintain secure systems and applications

Implement Strong Access Control Measures:

Restrict access to cardholder information by businesses and know how to allocate a unique ID to each person with computer access.

Regularly Monitor and Test Networks:

Track all connections to network resources and cardholder information regularly.

Maintain an Information Security Policy:

Maintain a framework for the protection of information for all workers

Risks that your organization runs by not having PCI DSS compliance:

Businesses that don’t accept any credit cards sometimes question why they need to follow a safety requirement such as the PCI DSS. In the Payment Card Industry (PCI) world, companies that do not process more than 20,000 credit card transactions per year are categorized as level 4 merchants. This level 4 has the lowest level of compliance requirements and therefore requires the lowest level of compliance effort. However, this tier of merchants is also the most vulnerable to crime and cyber-attacks, according to data from the Payment Card Industry. Seventy-one percent of hackers target small businesses and retailers with less than 100 employees, according to the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI, 2016). In addition to the threat of a data breach, agreements with an acquirer or payment processor can require that your company comply with PCI. This is valid for any company that even accepts a single payment credit card.

Benefits of PCI DSS: 

Security improvement:

A study conducted by Verizon found that companies that comply with PCI are more likely to resist substantially up to fifty percent of a cardholder data breach. This means that the 12-required PCI DSS is an effective collection of security checks to protect cardholder information.


Reduced risks of losing cardholder data:

Compliance with PCI DSS will make you feel confident that you have done all you need to do to protect cardholder data. Also, your customers feel safe, they believe that they provide their confidential data to a trusted company, that’s you.


Improved customer relationship:

According to a study conducted by Quirk’s Marketing Research Review, it reported that 69 percent of customers would be less likely to engage in business with an infringed entity. As a PCI DSS-compliant enterprise, you should be able to significantly reduce data breaches. This means you’re going to have a better customer relationship. They will see you as a firm committed to protecting their information.


Increase in Profit:

Once your customers know that their card details are secure with you due to compliance with PCI, the word of mouth will only increase the number of your customers and ensure that your loyal customer base will only keep growing. In short, there are more customers, more sales, and more income.


Brand Image building:

With your company’s strong commitment to PCI enforcement, the brand’s identity would stand out in a very suitable way.


Sustain Your Business:

Each retailer has to comply with the norm even with one credit card transaction if it does not comply they will be at high risk. If you are not compliant with PCI DSS, you will be fined and you may also face charges for failing to protect cardholder data. You’re going to lose money and hurt your reputation. This may jeopardize your company. To maintain their presence in this market, being PCI compliant is a must for any company that stores, processes, and transmits cardholder data.


About the above, we Digital Payment Guru are the payment gateway integrators providing payment gateway integration service for top payment gateways which are PCI DSS compliant. The merchants who use the payment gateway to accept their customers ‘ online payments are assured of the security provided to the confidential card-related data of the customer.

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