Any business that accepts credit cards have heard of a set of regulations known as PCI DSS or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. These set of rules and regulations apply to any business that accepts the use of credit cards as payment for goods and services especially if they intend to store, process, and transmit any cardholder data from their customers.  PCI Compliance exists to prevent data breaches and fraud. The institution of the PCI DSS ensures that all entities involved in any sale are equally responsible for safeguarding customer information and card data.

What happens if I fail to meet PCI Compliance?

It is highly inadvisable to be caught in this situation. Failure to do so can result in:

  1. Negative Press Coverage. Data breaches are no laughing matter, and a data breach can destroy a company’s reputation and can instantly revert even a long-time customer to a lost customer.  
  2. Fines. If caught in non-compliance, the four credit card companies can impose fines ranging from $2000 up to more than $100,000 for violating PCI regulations per month. Even the lowest fine can bring a business to bankruptcy especially when they are caught after a long period of non-compliance.
  3. Financial liability. In the event that  compromised cardholder data is fraudulently used, a business can be held responsible if it is proven that the data breach is a result of the business’ non-compliance to PCI regulations. Such financial liability can be catastrophic and devastating to small businesses and critical to larger corporation

Although PCI compliance may be costly and the regulations strict, the negative results of non-compliance make the effort to pursue complete PCI compliance a small price to pay for any business, no matter what the size.

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