Although PCI Can Be Extensive, It is Important
Both merchants and processors will agree; PCI is no fun. But PCI reduces risks for everyone involved in accepting payments so it is worth your time. Below are three reasons why it's important for your business to get PCI compliant.
#1 - Knowing Your Exposure Helps You Reduce It
Burying your head in the sand doesn't change reality; there are hackers and fraudsters who would like nothing more than to steal credit card numbers and other sensitive information from your business. You may be a small business, but you're still on their radar. Over 80% of data breaches targeted small businesses (it just isn't front-page news).
The first reason why getting PCI compliant is important is that it makes you aware of your exposure. It forces to ask questions like "Are we storing credit card numbers? If so, where and how? Do we train our staff about handling sensitive data? Do we monitor them when they process cards? Do we have anti-virus software on all our computers?"
Understanding where your business is exposed gives you an opportunity to tighten-up your operations and reduce your risks. It also gives you a chance to have a conversation with your credit card processor on how you can shift some of that risk to them, such as using a credit card vault.
#2 - Compliance is Less Expensive than Non-Compliance
A breach can be a very painful experience. From your web-server getting hacked to having a dishonest staff member who steals credit card numbers, the financial penalties imposed by the card-brands (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express) in the event of a breach can be crippling.
Some processors will provide financial assistance or coverage up to a certain amount in the event of a breach, but typically only if you were up-to-date on your compliance. There are also cyber-insurance packages available from insurance companies, but once again PCI compliance must be completed in order to qualify. Lastly, most processors will charge a small penalty if you fail to do your annual PCI questionnaire.
#3 - You're Protecting Your Business's Reputation
No one wants their brand names to be associated with stolen credit card numbers or leaked customer information. There are constant headlines of hacks and breaches. Businesses of all sizes should ask themselves, "Even if we can afford the financial penalties of a breach, would our reputation survive?" The extra time spent in the short-term on reducing your risks can make the difference in the long-term viability of your business.
It Doesn't Have to be Hard
Being PCI compliant is in the best interest of your business, but when it comes to getting PCI compliant most processors simply aren't helpful. Choosing the right payment partner can drastically alter your experience with PCI compliance.
At Helcim, we have created payment solutions that reduce your security scope. These include hosted payment pages, Helcim.js, end-to-end encryption and hybrid terminals. Our PCI program is included with all of our services, and provides you with a PCI portal and tutorials on completing your annual questionnaires. Finally, our customer service team is there to walk you, step by step, through the process.
It's time to get compliant and stay secure with the right payment partner. Visit us at www.helcim.com.