PCI Compliance

Intro to PCI Compliance

When it comes to a growing business, the safety and security of your and your customers’ sensitive information and data is likely top of mind—especially when it comes to payments.

New advances in commerce and payments technology are often accompanied by new rules and regulations to help ensure that both businesses and consumers are protected. Enter the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), a standard put forth by the five largest credit card companies to help reduce costly consumer and bank data breaches.

Understanding PCI DSS compliance can feel overwhelming for business decision makers. In this guide, we break down the need-to-knows of PCI DSS compliance and walk you through the steps you need to safeguard your business and customers.


Six Frequently Asked Questions About PCI Compliance

What does PCI DSS compliance mean?

PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which sets the requirements for organizations and sellers to safely and securely accept, store, process, and transmit cardholder data during credit card transaction to prevent fraud and data breaches.

Who needs PCI DSS compliance certification?

Although there is technically no such thing as “PCI certification,” sellers of all sizes, service providers, banks, and any other organizations that process credit card payments need to prove they are PCI compliant.

What are the PCI DSS compliance levels?

There are four levels of PCI compliance; each level has unique requirements for a business to validate its compliance. The level under which your business falls is based on your total transaction volume, annually.

What does it cost to be PCI DSS compliant?

The fees to become PCI compliant, and maintain that standing annually, can range from approximately $1,000 annually to over $50,000 annually, depending on the size of your business.

Am I responsible for a PCI DSS Compliance Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ)?

The PCI DSS Self-Assessment Questionnaire is a checklist ranging from 19 to 87 pages, created and distributed by the PCI Security Standards Council. It’s used as a mechanism for sellers to self-validate their PCI DSS compliance. Square does not require sellers to complete an SAQ, or to self-validate, since Square’s hardware and software complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).  However that is also true with Clover's latest product line and others.

Is there a PCI noncompliance fee?

Yes, there are typically fees associated with PCI noncompliance. If your business does not comply with PCI standards, you could be at risk for data breaches, fines, card replacement costs, costly forensic audits and investigations into your business, brand damage, and more.

Can I hire someone to help me?

Yes, Santa Barbara Cash Register's technicians can help@sbcashregister.com