Secure credit card processing is the responsibility of every participant in the process: merchants, merchant services providers, issuing banks and the credit card networks. The job is made easier when everyone follows the basic security steps outlined in the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, or PCI DSS for short.
The PCI DSS is established by the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), founded by the five global payment brands: American Express®, Discover®, MasterCard®, Visa® and JCB International. All five have agreed to incorporate the PCI DSS as the technical requirements of each of their data security compliance programs.
Businesses that handle credit and debit card transactions face the daily task of making sure they are PCI compliant. Small businesses in particular may feel this is a heavy burden, but working with a reputable merchant services provider like TransFirst® can make the whole process easier. We support and promote PCI compliance among all our merchants, and our PCI Compliance Program offers services that help them attain and maintain PCI compliance, especially as requirements change over time.
Additionally, TransFirst offers merchants peace of mind with our Data Breach Security Program. If a data breach is suspected, the program covers a forensic audit as required by PCI DSS to confirm whether a breach has actually occurred and to pinpoint system vulnerabilities. In the event of an unintended breach, the program meets industry fines and assessment as required by PCI DSS, as well as issuer-related expenses for card replacement costs and credit monitoring.
Protecting cardholder data is good for your business. In fact, not doing so could be detrimental. According to the PCI SSC, more than 80 percent of data breach attacks are directed towards small merchants, presumed by hackers and fraudsters to be less vigilant about data security. If a business is found to be at fault for a security breach, the ramifications include fines and penalties, loss of ability to accept credit cards, lost reputation leading to lost sales, legal costs including settlements and judgments, and higher subsequent costs of compliance.
Remember, as a merchant, you are responsible for preventing theft of cardholder data. PCI compliance need not be an expensive proposition, but the fallout from noncompliance almost always is. To stay secure, never store any sensitive cardholder data, always secure all card readers, POS and payment systems, and learn and use basic security techniques. If you have questions, ask your TransFirst representative to go over secure data protocols with you.
TransFirst, LLC is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, CA, and Synovus Bank, Columbus, GA, for Visa and MasterCard transactions only.