If you accept debit or credit cards, you are required to maintain PCI Security with the major card brands. Why?
Due to the widespread Identity Theft Crisis throughout the globe, all merchants must answer an annual SAQ, Self Assessment Questionnaire, or be open to hackers as well as pay non compliance fees. These fees range from $20 to $100 a month, but can be avoided by answering 15 or so questions about your business and how you handle cards presented to your business, whether retail or online.
But more importantly, if you are not PCI Compliant, you can be hacked and be liable for the losses your customers/card holders may experience.
In a 2015 survey of U.S. businesses by Forrester Consulting:
- 81% store payment card numbers.
- 73% store payment card expiration dates.
- 71% store payment card verification codes.
- 57% store customer data on the magnetic strip.
- 16% store other personal data.
What are the costs associated with a breach?
- Notifying/compensating victims ($30 each) possibly multiplied by 100’s.
- Civil Damages/liability for lost credit card numbers, for each customer.
- Fines (depends on card brand or bank; range from $10K to $200K).
- Additional future stricter compliance reporting/auditing requirements to accept cards.
- Bank or credit card company may refuse to do business with your business and deny the ability to accept any cards.
- Identity theft of your own business data.
- Damage to your reputation – perhaps more expensive and important, causing loss of customers, sales, and income.
- Losses in the thousands of dollars!
Have you been notified to become PCI Compliant by your processor or merchant services rep?
Generally monthly statements and reports have reminders on various topics, including becoming PCI Compliant. If you are not sure, call the customer service number or contact us and we can help to make sure you are not paying Non Compliance fees, following all the guidelines and safety procedures, and can review your current costs, even if you are not a current client.
Call us at 512-535-2255 or 254-863-2567 or 888-995-3995.