For a business to be PCI compliant, they must complete a self assessment questionnaire or SAQ and take the time to follow the procedures and safety measures laid out for their business type. Not every business will have to complete the same version of the PCI DSS (payment card industry data security standard). There are actually four different versions of the SAQ that, depending on the method of processing your business uses, only one of need to be completed per merchant location. Failing to complete an SAQ to make your business PCI compliant however could result in loss of revenue, loss of savings due to industry fines and penalties, loss of customer loyalty and destruction of brand reputation.
Unfortunately, until the advent of the PCI DSS, merchants were in general, lax at best about the security of their and their customers’ sensitive authentication data. When fraud was committed or information stolen, the merchant didn’t used to be liable for the cost. There was always a cost when a crime is committed, and in times past the onus of covering the losses rested with the issuing bank of the card or the card association itself. With the advent of PCI compliance as a minimum required security measure, some responsibility is now shared by the merchants handling the cards and other sensitive authentication data.
Bearing this in mind, if your business is not PCI compliant yet, then you are deliberately putting your business, and consequently, your customers, at great risk. Especially these days when there are so many computer and internet security software products that have been cracked by one hacker or another, it’s just plain foolhardy to act as if you are safe. Consider the seat belts in your car. It would never occur to you to not buckle up, or to not buckle in your children. But when the question of requiring them in cars came up, it was met with ferocious resistance from everyone from the auto manufacturers to the dealers to the consumers. Since Congress mandated that auto manufacturers must install seatbelts to sell a car, countless millions of lives have been saved.
If you ignore the industry requirements for PCI compliance, and continue to operate without regard for your customers’ sensitive authentication data and credit card information, no one will be saved if a computer criminal targets you. You are knowledgeably risking the personal security of every person that uses their bank card at your business. It’s not just about you and your business, but about all businesses and consumers that process or use credit cards. Do your duty, get PCI compliant, and deny the hackers their quarry. Go to our home page to find out how this process can be completed quickly, easily, and most importantly, absolutely free.