Credit card theft and data breaches have dominated financial headlines over the last one

decade. With a report published by NASDAQ showing the U.S as the largest user of credit

cards this issue has necessitated multi-prong approaches to them.


Grave Card Fraud Statistics


A report on Forbes says over 10% of Americans have been victims of card fraud with over $

399 million being lost to such fraud annually. It gets even worse, Barclay’s states that the

U.S is responsible for over 47% of global card fraud with over 31.8 million consumers

suffering such breaches in 2014 alone. The cost of replacement to the issuer per card is

about $12.75.


Time for Action through PCI Compliance


Against this backdrop there have been intense efforts to enhance security of sensitive

credit card data. One of the most conspicuous efforts has been PCI Security Standards

Council (PCI SSC) strategy in establishing PCI Data Security Standard Compliance.

This is a set of requirements designed to ensure that all companies involved in processing,

storing and transmitting card data maintain a secure environment. These parties include

you as the business, merchant service providers, financial institutions and card issuers.

Through PCI compliance all these parties reduce the likelihood of fraud during

transactions. When your account is PCI complaint then you are less worried about fraud at

your POS terminals. The downside of experiencing fraudulent transactions when your

business is not PCI compliant includes heavy fines, loss of credibility and loss of valuable

business links.


As a business owner you need to appreciate that the duty of enforcing compliance falls on

payment brands and acquirers. This means you have to ask for PCI compliance from these

partners to ensure you are never caught off guard. The process of compliance is continuous

though the main aspects entail:


1. Assessment: You must take an inventory of your IT assets and business processes

for payment card processing. You should check for any vulnerability that might lead

to breach of customer data.


2. Remediate: As you spot weaknesses in your system start fixing them and if possible

don’t store customer data at this stage if you don’t need it.


3. Report compliance: You need to report these remediation efforts and compliance

reports to your acquiring bank and payment brands that you partner with.


Working with Experts


As an entrepreneur your core business is running day to day operations and it is best to

leave PCI compliance to an expert. PYMNT Advisors for instance not only offer advice on

getting cheap credit card processing rates and can also link you up with the best PCI

compliance solution providers.


With years of experience in the industry will help identify a

company that not only offers the best processing fees for your business but one that also

helps you in becoming PCI compliant. Such credit card processing companies have in-

house risk teams to assess your operations and identify vulnerabilities.


Once your business has complied with PCI guidelines you enjoy peace of mind, reduced

risks, lower costs of processing payments, increased customer loyalty and of course an

impressive bottom-line.