PCI Compliance refers to the technical and operational practices engaged in by businesses to adhere to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). A self-governance standard maintained by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), the PCI DSS provides security guidelines for all retailers, merchants, banks and service providers that accept and process credit and debit card transactions. To maintain PCI compliance, merchants must protect, and secure credit card information provided by cardholders and transmitted through digital transactional channels. PCI compliance is important because while credit cards represent an increased ease through which financial transactions can be accomplished, they also present a risk for any cardholders that their information could be stolen and used by thieves or hackers. As such, the PCI Security Standards Council has set forth standards to guarantee the safety of both customers and businesses.
Credit card processing presents both convenience and danger but is practically a requirement when it comes to online transactions. As a result, PCI compliance is an important component in any company’s security protocol. Merchants and any other business that accepts, transmits, or stores credit card data need to maintain these operational and technical standards in order to protect their clients from data breaches, identity theft, and other possible issues that could arise from hackers gaining their unprotected data.
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