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About PCI Compliance

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What is PCI Compliance?

PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) is a set of standards designed to ensure that credit card information remains safe and is captured and transmitted in a secure way. In other words, it is a set of rules to reduce the risk of fraudsters, hackers and thieves from stealing sensitive credit card information.

Who does it apply to?

PCI compliance applies to all businesses accepting credit and debit cards payments, regardless of their size or their nature. Even tiny merchants using a mobile app on the weekend are required to meet the PCI standard. PCI is the world's largest security standard, as it applies to millions of merchants, processors, ATM companies and other service providers world-wide.

Who sets the standard and who enforces it?

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) is the governing body that sets and updates the standard. It was created in 2006 by the major card-brands, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express in order to have a universal set of rules. The card-brands are the ones that enforce the standard, requiring processors to be compliant, validate their merchants, and impose fines if a breach occurs because of non-compliance.

Why do I have to be compliant?

To avoid getting breached and losing credit card numbers! Fines imposed by the card-brands in the event of a breach can be extremely costly. In this digital age all businesses should want to protect themselves. By being compliant you also gain access to our breach coverage. Prepare your business for compliance by visiting the top PCI compliance tips.

I've been processing for years, why now?

With the release of PCI version 3 (the newest standard), Visa and MasterCard are now requiring that all processors validate the compliance of all their merchants. To make this process easy and affordable for our merchants, we've put together a PCI program that is included as part of our merchant services. Click here to learn more about our PCI compliance program.

My provider is compliant, does that mean I'm compliant?

The short answer is no. While it is crucial to use point-of-sale providers, shopping carts and payment processors that are compliant, you are still responsible for your own staff and environment. A virus-infected computer or a dishonest staff member is all it could take to have someone steal credit card numbers from your business.

What do I have to do?


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The Helcim name and logo are trademarks of Helcim Inc. The Visa and MasterCard logos are trademarks of Visa International and MasterCard International Incorporated. Other tradenames may be trademarks of their respective owners. Helcim is a registered MSP/ISO of Elavon, Inc. Georgia [,a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, Minneapolis, MN]. New applicants are subject to conditions and approval of the application by Helcim and its partnering banks.