Last week I spoke about my parking experience at the Verizon Center for the live theatrical production of How to Train Your Dragon and I mentioned how confident I was, and still am, paying electronically in that situation instead of cash. I felt more protected knowing that there would be an electronic record of my purchase as opposed to the anonymity of a cash payment because of my confidence that an organization like the Verizon Center would be PCI compliant. The PCI DSS (payment card industry data security standard) is a set of goals and procedures that dictate best practices and sensitive authentication data protection measures for merchants and credit card processors. Of all of those whom the industry requires to be PCI compliant, only a fraction of them are actually required to be compliant.
And that is in fact, part of the beauty of what I’m trying to convey here. What I mean to impress upon the reader today is this: making sure your business meets the requirements set forth in the PCI DSS protects not only you and your business, but also your customers, and in turn, the integrity of the entire electronic payments industry as a whole. As a consumer I, and all consumers, rely on the PCI DSS to protect the security of our personal and financial data. As long as The Verizon Center in downtown Washington DC is PCI compliant, it is actually more safe paying with my credit card than giving cash to some enterprising wage slave who wants to pocket my payment as pure profit. I trust that Verizon Center’s PCI compliance will protect me.
Trust is essential in the business word. If your customers don’t trust you or feel that working with you is risky, they won’t be customers very long. If your business records or customer files or credit card invoices and receipts get stolen, whether it’s physical documents or electronically stored data, the first critical business ingredient you lose is trust. Once gone, it’s almost impossible to regain. If you are PCI compliant however, you have certain automatic protections from liability that non PCI compliant merchants don’t have. Some of these measures may prevent the actual fraudulent abuse of the stolen data and in doing so, save your customer and their trust in you.
If your business isn’t PCI compliant, you are jeopardizing your livelihood. See our home page for information on how you can be PCI compliant. Best off, it’s absolutely free.