Accepting online credit and debit card payments is no longer an optional or bonus payment method to offer your customers. To properly cater to the needs of modern consumers, it has become mandatory for businesses to accept online and electronic payments. However, in order to accept card payments on your ecommerce website, you first have to be PCI compliant. 

PCI compliance stands for Payment Card Industry Compliance. These are a set of guidelines that all businesses accepting credit card payments must follow. PCI compliance is a way that credit card companies can ensure a safe and secure environment for online payments — one that minimizes the threat to sensitive cardholder data. As a business owner, you need to make sure your website is PCI compliant before you can start accepting online and electronic payments. 

PCI standards and guidelines.

The PCI Standards Council, in collaboration with the credit card companies, has created some guidelines designed to help ecommerce websites and digital businesses keep sensitive information safe. These standards are known as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, or PCI DSS. The PCI DSS is comprised of 6 objectives, 12 key requirements, 78 base requirements, and more than 400 testing strategies.

The primary purpose of the PCI compliance guidelines is to make sure that credit card or debit card payments are being handled securely. These guidelines help safeguard sensitive card information, so that it stays protected and inaccessible to cybercriminals and other unauthorized entities. 

The 6 major objectives of PCI DSS include: building a secure network and maintaining it properly, completely protecting cardholder data, the management of ongoing vulnerabilities, the controlling of accessibility, monitoring and testing, and policy documentation. 

These objectives encourage businesses to create a secure environment in which a customer will feel safe entering their card details. Moreover, they encourage you as a business owner to test the security of your website regularly, so that you’ll remain in compliance and data will stay secure. 

Important PCI compliance standards and guidelines.

Compliance with PCI guidelines and standards is the most important task for business owners who want to accept electronic payments on their websites. PCI-compliant websites are secure. They boost customer trust. Given the high rate of cybercrime these days, security is becoming a major concern of many customers. Some consumers are skeptical about using online services or shopping from ecommerce websites because they are worried their sensitive card data could  get stolen. A PCI-compliant website helps customers enjoy shopping without worrying about security. It even enhances the reputation of your business in the digital sector, creating loyal customers and opening the door to opportunities for partnering with industry-best acquirers and payment brands. 

Compliance with PCI guidelines and standards prevents security breaches and stops illegitimate access into customer’s sensitive data. It acts as a shield against hackers. It even helps in improving IT infrastructure efficiency. 

The effects of non-compliance.

It is mandatory for all ecommerce websites and online businesses that accept credit card and debit card payments to be PCI compliant. Failure to do so could result in serious, long-term consequences, which can put business owners in a messy situation. In addition to fines and penalties, there are other problems that you could have to face if you fail to maintain your PCI compliance. Non-compliance can compromise sensitive data, which can lead to a data breach that can negatively impact not only the customers, but the long-term reputation of your business as well.  With so many different factors to think about, maintaining PCI compliance can be complicated. To make things easier, North American Bancard has introduced a program that helps simplify the PCI compliance process, while removing the burden placed on you, the business owner. PCI Plus eliminates program, non-compliance, and PCI fees for qualified merchants, while adding up to $100,000 in breach forgiveness. Contact us today to learn more.

Contact NAB today and see how easy it is to get the merchant services you deserve.

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