What Is PCI Compliance And Why It Is Important For The Health Of Your Merchant Account
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Some payment processors and banks will impose fines for your non-compliance in addition to what they receive. These are the penalties they impose on you for not being responsible for your PCI compliance duties.
Merchant Services provides day to day operational support to departments on campus with active merchant accounts (MasterCard, Visa, and American Express). Other services provided include coordinating with NC Office of the State Controller (OSC) as necessary to establish new merchant accounts and ensure all merchant accounts are in good standing and in compliance with applicable policies, procedures and standards as required by the University, OSC and the Payment Card Industry (PCI).
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.
All activity dealing with cardholder data and primary account numbers (PAN) require a log entry. Perhaps the most common non-compliance issue is a lack of proper record keeping and documentation when it comes to accessing sensitive data. Compliance requires documenting how data flows into your organization and the number of times access is needed. Software products to log access are also needed to ensure accuracy.
Accept credit card payments from their customers both online and offline. Businesses are responsible for adhering to PCI-DSS standards in order to keep their customer's card information safe. This includes implementing processes and software for properly managing cardholder data, keeping firewall and virus protection programs up-to-date, and properly training employees on compliance standards. Compliance is more than just adhering to industry regulations; it also helps you earn the trust of your customers and provide different payment options to remain competitive. If your company works with cardholder information, it is important to ensure you have a system in place to protect this data. However, it can be hard to overcome some of the challenges associated with this:
In order to avoid this type of situation, managers must implement proper processes for accepting credit card information, employees must be trained on meeting PCI Compliance and any accounting software or programs used for storing card data must provide encrypted databases. Some companies may practice compliance by maintaining a secure, paper-based locked file system of account numbers. However, employees often disregard these policies during their daily routine, as it can be a time-consuming process. A better solution is to implement proper accounting software that includes completely separate, encrypted databases for storing this type of sensitive cardholder information. Implementing a proper system will require the transfer of all credit card information that your company previously stored in unencrypted fields, into a secure database. Finding a system with consultants who are knowledgeable in this area will help make the set-up and data migration process go smoothly.
Protecting sensitive cardholder data is just one important aspect of achieving full compliance with PCI-DSS standards, and should be addressed and reviewed along with all other requirements on a regular basis. Being proactive in making sure your business meets the correct PCI-DSS standards each year will save your company time and money dealing with any compliance issues, keep your customers happy knowing their data is safe, and help your business remain competitive.
Who do I need to submit my compliance documentation to?There is a lot of misleading information available in regards to this question. The PCI Council does not require you to submit documentation directly to the council and leaves enforcing the PCI DSS standards up to the acquiring bank(s) and card brands. In short, any compliance documentation completed by your organization should be kept on-file and submitted to your organizations acquiring bank (or merchant account manager) as requested.
What are the penalties for non-compliance? Different payment brands (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc.) set fines on an acquiring bank at their discretion. Acquiring banks typically pass this fine along until it hits the merchant. In addition, the acquiring bank can increase transaction fees or terminate their relationship with your organization if it is found to be non-compliant. The payment brands can also restrict your ability to accept their brand of payment card as well.
As your number of transactions increases, yourPCI DSS merchant level increases, and the PCI DSS compliance guidelines become stricter. At the highestmerchant level, Level 1, PCI DSS requires an audit. Levels vary bythe card brand. Level 1 is defined by American Express as 2.5 million annualtransactions, and by Visa, Mastercard, and Discover as 6 million annualtransactions. Each card brand has additional level requirements that are beyondthe scope of this document. Ensure that your payment-processing environmentis audited to support your merchant level.
To simplify access restriction and compliance auditing, create aproduction-quality, payment-processing environment that is fully isolated fromyour standard production environment and any dev/QA environments (requirement6.4.1). To ensure isolation, create and use a Google Cloud account that isseparate fromyour core production environment account. Users experienced with Identity and Access Management(IAM) configuration can accomplish equivalent isolation byusing separate projects for in-scope work.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) have far-reaching implications for businesses that work with either cardholder data or patient health information. Remaining compliant is vital for organizations that want to protect their customers and serve as trusted industry leaders. Learn how Flexential Professional Services can support your compliance efforts so you can be more confident and efficient and enabled to stay focused on bottom-line initiatives.
Organizations are also responsible for paying for any audits to confirm that they are PCI DSS compliant. Further, your merchant account with the brand could also be revoked, meaning that you would no longer be able to process transactions.
Unfortunately, PCI compliance is a complex subject that can be difficult to navigate, especially for newer ISOs and smaller merchants. With that in mind, the following is a quick primer on what PCI compliance is, what it means for your business, and how you can help your merchants.
The Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) is a tool that allows merchants that fall under the purview of PCI DSS to self-evaluate their compliance with the standards. Your unit leadership will let you know whether your unit can use the SAQ as part of compliance with PCI DSS. SAQ forms can be found below.
An integrated gateway can be a dedicated source of revenue, as merchants that obtain all the necessary compliance become payment service providers themselves. This means your business can process payments for other merchants for a fee. But, besides the regulatory aspect, being a payment gateway provider brings a technological burden, because you need an infrastructure to safely store transaction data, credit card tokens, etc.
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Compliance level determines what a business will need to submit for compliance validation. What is required for validation can be further determined through the completion of a self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ). The appropriate SAQ is determined by how a business accepts payment cards. There are nine SAQs, making it crucial to select the appropriate SAQ for the individual business environment. Businesses should consult with their card brand and merchant bank to ensure accurate SAQ selection.
Always examine your merchant account agreement before you start accepting credit card payments. You might find things in there like an early termination fee or other hidden charges that will impact your bank account. 781b155fdc