If you are unfamiliar with The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and are a credit card user, you should be thanking you lucky stars for its existence. The standard was developed to help businesses and organizations that are processing credit cards prevent credit card fraud, through controlling level of data exposure to compromise. The standard applies to all organizations which hold, process, or pass cardholder information from any card branded with the logo of one of the card brands.
If you are wondering if your favorite store or brand is PCI compliant, pci compliance companies are easily accessed through Internet searches. The PCI compliance standard is held to both brick and mortar stores, as well as e commerce sites utilizing online credit card processing.
Businesses and organizations, as well as your favorite online merchant service, are not required to register directly with PCI compliance, and in fact, can use third party pci compliance companies to register on their behalf. VISA publishes a global list of pci compliance companies wiling to work with any business accepting credit card payments, as well as credit card processing companies.
Third party pci compliance companies then represent businesses and protect the data of the consumers who are offering their credit card information.
If you are unsure if your favorite merchants are PCI compliant, you can easily access VISA’s list of pci compliant companies, and gain some piece of mind. Any merchant found to not be pci compliant is subject to any where from a 5,000 to 100,000 dollar fine per MONTH for pci violations.
If you are feeling uneasy about a credit card transaction, or deciding whether or no to use your credit card, check for pci compliance. Compliance regulations are not just for the internet, so be cautious even when physically in a store. There is no better way to ensure that your information will be protected.