PCI Free Blog

PCI compliant? Not knowing can harm you.

Are you aware of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards commonly known as the PCI DSS required for all merchant processors of credit cards?  If you’ve heard of it, is your business PCI compliant?  Not becoming PCI compliant, or not knowing if you’re PCI compliant or not can jeopardize your business in ways you haven’t even thought of yet.  There is a trend in the payment card processing industry that seems that to grow exponentially from week to week.

Certain merchant processors, including some of the big national companies whose names you would recognize are in the practice of mixing scare tactics and half-truths with false information to dupe unsuspecting merchants into switching services without their knowledge.  So often it happens that the avenue these unscrupulous companies is the general lack of knowledge about what PCI compliance is and what it entails.  Preying on the merchant’s ignorance of PCI compliance requirements, the sales rep threatens the merchant with card association penalties and fines for not being PCI compliant and that they are currently in violation of PCI DSS regulations.  This is often all that’s needed to get the merchant anxiously signing paperwork that they think will fix their problem but really creates a new one since the paperwork they’re not reading is actually a service contract for a company that hasn’t even divulged a single one of their fees.

If that doesn’t work, the next move is to proclaim that your equipment (regardless of the truth or type of equipment you have) itself is not PCI compliant and must be upgraded.  Again, the paperwork comes out and merchants sign without reading, often because the rep has insinuated that they are from the merchant’s current provider.

While it’s true that there are penalties for not being PCI compliant, this threat is made to merchants who may well already be PCI compliant through their current processor but haven’t taken the time to find out.

If you’ve been putting it off certifying your PCI compliance or have heard bits and pieces about the PCI DSS requirements, but haven’t put any effort into finding out what is required for your business to be PCI compliant, you could be doing yourself a serious disservice.

Please view our website at www.pcifree.com to see how easy it is to become PCI compliant and protect your business and your customers.  Best of all, it’s free!

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