Caution: Are You Investing in Companies Who Aren't PCI Compliant?

Thank you Google.

Thank you Google.

What is PCI compliance?

Well, in case you don’t feel like reading this lengthy PCI Compliance Guide (we don’t blame you) we will explain it to you in a brief paragraph.

Here it goes…

PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance is a list of security standards developed in 2006, which protect your credit card information during any transaction. Whether you walk into a family-owned business, or you enter the shining gates of Walmart, every company has to be “PCI compliant,” OR they will be fined in the case of a debacle.

Q: What are the penalties for noncompliance?
A: The payment brands may, at their discretion, fine an acquiring bank $5,000 to $100,000 per month for PCI compliance violations. The banks will most likely pass this fine on downstream till it eventually hits the merchant. Furthermore, the bank will also most likely either terminate your relationship or increase transaction fees.  Penalties are not openly discussed nor widely publicized, but they can catastrophic to a small business.

It is important to be familiar with your merchant account agreement, which should outline your exposure.

-Via PCIComplianceGuide.orge

It would suffice to say that Black Friday sales are healthy once again. Adding to the in-store purchases is the relatively new surge in online shopping (Cyber Monday). Now, customers are relying on the Internet and brick-and-mortar stores to make their purchases; though this is an exciting time in the business realm, it also augments the amount of companies who obtain your business or personal credit card information.

Remember the Target credit card scandal before Christmas? 40 million accounts were breached! (Read More Here). Target isn’t the only company who faced this heart-wrenching hack… Other popular companies including J.C. Penney, 7-Eleven, JetBlue, and more had to cope with severe loses in 2013 alone, while their customers were left scrambling.

Thanks again Google.

Thanks again Google.

In the B2B market, the significance of PCI compliance is even more monumental; you’re establishing relationships with business owners who are fighting tooth and nail to get to the top. Before you settle with a company that provides a product or service you need for your business, it is crucial that you determine whether they are PCI compliant.

If you have any questions, comment below or email me at parris.wells@tradeonly.com

If you will be in the Las Vegas area on January 13-17th come visit us at the PPAI tradeshow! We have drinks and nibbles… If that doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what will!

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