PCI Compliance

Merchants and Providers PCI Compliance

There has been a tremendous growth of organization which accepts credit cards in their operations. As the changes in technology are witnessed rapidly, the payments methods are also evolving. The surge desire to increases the sales, hence boost revenue has attracted various businesses to embrace the era of cashless payments. Although the convenience of credit cards is by far valuable compared to cash transactions, the number of risks have increased. The cases of frauds involving credit cards and other modes of online payments have hit the media headline, signaling the seriousness of the matter.

Merchants have no clear understanding of their role in preventing any risks associated with payments. They just know they are sellers but have little knowhow of their role in the business. Lack of clear awareness is, further, exposing them to the contrary repercussions that come along with money fraudsters. They should understand their responsibilities well, to abate such cases.

Do You Classify Yourself as a Merchant?

Well, the PCI Security Standards Council (SSC) has placed a definition of the merchant, to eradicate the confusion that might contribute to respective parties understanding their roles. A merchant is defined as the entity which allows transaction using cards that bears the logos of any of the PCI SSC member. Some of those members are American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard or Visa. More information concerning the members can be accessed at:www.pcisecuritystandards.org

Merchants should, therefore, adhere to the standards set out by the council. One of the major issues that every trader must be aware of is their service providers. Additionally, the parties involved in service delivery should understand their roles, to avoid breaching the stipulated policies.

Are you a provider of services?

PCI service providers are companies and individuals that are entrusted with processing, storage, and transmission of the customer’s card data. Most of them are not aware of their functions, which places them at a higher end of litigations for negating the security of the clients. This information can be derived from www.pcisecuritystandards.org.Examples of service providers are hosting, billing account management, back office services among others. These providers are not aware they are service providers.

The Scoop of Responsibilities for Being Both a Merchant and a Service Provider.

Is it possible to be both a provider and a merchant? The question is answered by the PCI Security Standards Council definition. The council highlights that a merchant can accept cards for payments of goods and services and also act as the provider of services by transmitting card data. The definition is backed up by the information derived from the following site: www.pcisecuritystandards.org

Building Trust with Customers as a Service Provider

Providing the services to the clients would require great demonstration of quality service, through adherence to the PCI standards. This is not only helpful to the image of the business, but also prevents the owner from the fines by the court. It all begins with validating the PCI Service Provider compliance.

  1. Choose to complete PCI level 1 assessment, which is achieved alongside Quality Security Assessor (QSA).It is meant to ensure that the providers protect the customers’ data to mitigate the cases of leakage.
  2. If one is not able to complete level 1 assessment but qualifies the second level, he or she can take self-assessment, which would require a complete SAQ service provider.
  3. Work with merchants and assist them to meet PCI compliance requirements. The council has provided a document that can be used as a reference to cross check the responsibilities of every party.
  4. Ensure that you appear in the list of Visa Global Registry of Service Providers. This is where the merchants browse to see the authenticity of the providers.

Compliance with PCI is a move to legitimize your business, and improve the perception from the outside world. Every organization should understand its role, and apparently strive to uphold the laid down policies.

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