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PCI is short for Payment Card Industry. PCI Compliance refers to a set of standard created by the PCI to protect personal information and ensure security when transactions are processed using a payment card.

Everyone involved in the payment card industry must comply with these standards if they want to accept credit cards. This obviously includes the credit card companies and financial institutions, but also includes merchants.

Failure of merchants (eg online shops) to meet compliance standards can result in fines from credit card companies and banks, and even the loss of the ability to process credit cards. It can also increase your PCI category level (see below) which makes compliance in future more expensive and time consuming.

PCI Compliance Merchant Levels
The PCI have created different ‘merchant levels’ and the PCI compliance requirements are dependent on which level you are in. These are:

Level 1: Credit card or e-commerce transactions totalling 6 million or more per year. This level also includes anyone who has been caught with a data security breach.
Level 2: Credit card or e-commerce transaction levels between 1 million and 6 million.
Level 3: Credit card or e-commerce transaction levels between 20k and 1 million.
Level 4: Credit card or e-commerce transaction levels up to 20k. This includes all merchants processing 1 million transactions per year, regardless of what business you are in.
The PCI compliance validation requirements depend on level. All levels require a minimum of a quarterly network security scan by an approved scanning vendor.

These validation requirements which depend on merchant level are:

Level 1: An annual onsite review by an internal auditor or a Qualified Security Assessor.
Level 2, 3 and 4: A yearly self assessment questionnaire to be completed.

The PCI DSS requires merchants who store, process or transmit cardholder data to:

Build and maintain a secure IT network
Protect cardholder data
Maintain a vulnerability management program
Implement strong access control measures
Regularly monitor and test networks
Maintain an information security policy

These are often expressed as "twelve standards" , but in reality there are a large number of clauses and sub clasuses. When carrying out the self assessment checklist there are about 50 checks to be performed.

Talk to us about PCI....


Contact: South West Web Marketing, Clovelly Road, Bideford, Devon EX39 3HL T: 07957 214474 E: enquiry@southwestwebmarketing.co.uk W: www.southwestwebmarketing.co.uk

Web Marketing and DesignA North Devon (Barnstaple, Tiverton and Exeter) based web and online marketing agency developing web sites, e commerce, search engine campaigns for b2c and b2b clients across Devon, Cornwall & Somerset. For more details click here for more information.

South West Web Marketing


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