In the online shopping industry, you might hear the term “PCI compliance” being tossed around every so often. However, that term is more important that you think.
The PCI payment gateway is a type of payment system that adheres to the compliance of The Payment Card Industry (or PCI). In hindsight, PCI compliance is meant to be a safeguard for online stores and merchants to ensure to customers that their transactions are secure.
In this article, we’ll discuss what’s required for PCI compliance, the companies that take advantage of this protection, and what the consequences are if your online store is NOT PCI-compliant.
For an online store or merchant to be PCI-compliant, the vendor must abide by the following requirements:
- Build and maintain a secure network with a firewall configuration
- Not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters
- Protect cardholder data (stored and temporary) within the PCI payment gateway
- Cardholder data encryption across open, public networks
- Maintain vulnerability management
- Regularly use and update anti-virus software
- Develop and keep secure systems and applications
- Use strong access control measures
- Restrict cardholder data access as confidential
- Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access
- Not allow physical access to cardholder data
- Monitor and test networks and resources of cardholder data
- Regularly test security systems and processes
- Maintain an information security policy
Now, don’t panic if these requirements sound complicated. At first glance, these rules might seem confusing. However, if you have a mobile payment SDK, then it should be able to simplify mobile PCI compliance and cardholder data security by handling all the complexities around securing data and PCI mandates.
What Companies Are Doing To Be PCI-Compliant
PCI compliance is nothing new. In fact, most companies have already gotten on the ball when it comes to complying with PCI. Here are some examples:
- Apple (in Apple Pay)
- Google (in Google Wallet)
- Samsung (in Samsung Pay)
Those examples not only have consumers authorize their transactions, but they also have them add an authentication step (i.e., fingerprint recognition or PIN code). So, if someone steals someone’s phone, they won’t be able to get past the authentication stage where a specific fingerprint or PIN code is need, thus thwarting their plans to buy anything with it. Then, it should alert the retailer about the discrepancies, which would hopefully lead to the police being involved.
Now, it’s unclear if criminals will be able to find ways to bypass the authentication processes and security measures that were put in place by Apple, Google and Samsung, but in the current, their secure processes continue to be effective for consumers.
Consequences Of Non-Compliance
The truth is, if cardholder data is stolen, then it’s also a merchant’s problem IF they’re not PCI complaint. Failure to not be PCI compliant can result in the merchant being fined up to $500,000 per incident, penalized, and even have their right to accept credit cards revoked. And, given that 80% of online security attacks are targeted at small businesses – since they don’t have the in-house resources to deal with cyber theft effectively, without PCI compliance, your business will be shut down because of a security breach.
As you can see, mobile payments are the future of payments. So, as an online business or merchant, make it your job to not only offer customers the ability to pay from a mobile device, but to also assure them that each of their mobile transactions will be secure at all times. And, you must be compliant with PCI standards.
As a reminder, your online business must do the following:
- Safeguard your business against cyber threats.
- Have a secure payment gateway.
- Protect cardholder data at all times.
- Treat all sensitive data as confidential, AND
- Hold your security practices to the strictest standards.
As you learn more about PCI compliance, and implement it in your business operations (if you haven’t done so already), you can rest easy knowing that your customers’ data is as safe as possible, and that your company won’t deal with negative backlash from a security attack. With PCI compliance, you’ll get better protection, along with happy customers that are willing to trust you with their credit card information (or other form of online payment), as they continue to shop from you.
Ashley Halsey is a writer at Gumessays.com. As a professional writer, she has been involved in many writing projects nationwide. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and traveling with her two children.