Data breaches have become an increasing concern over the past couple of years. Stolen credit card information has been shown to fuel everything from identity theft to terrorism. Security breaches are disproportionally detrimental to small businesses. One estimate suggests that 70% of attacks affect small businesses. The best way to protect yourself is by ensuring you are PCI compliant.

But what is PCI compliance? And how can your business become PCI compliant? We’ll go over the ins and outs of PCI compliance and why it’s so important.

What Does It Mean to Be PCI Compliant?

The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council is a global organization that focuses on protecting consumer data. The organization was founded in collaboration with American Express, Discover, JCB International, MasterCard, and Visa Inc. The organization and its founding members have developed the PCI standards with the purpose of protecting payment card data.

PCI compliance is mandatory and enforced by the credit card brands that established the council. Failing to comply with these standards means your business runs the risk of audits, fines, and even lawsuits. In some cases, your business might even be shut down.

Why PCI Compliance is Important

PCI compliance is both mandatory and brings additional benefits to your business. In short, it is one of the most important precautions you can take. Take a look at why that is.

Protects Your Customers

Ensuring you are PCI compliant means keeping your customers’ payment information safe. Your customers’ data will be better protected and you’ll dramatically reduce the likelihood of data breaches. Your customers will appreciate your willingness to comply with the most up-to-date security standards and continue to purchase your goods and services with peace of mind.

Protects Your Business

Being PCI compliant not only protects your customers from data breaches but it also protects your business. Your business will be better guarded against data breaches, fraud, and the negative consequences of an attack.

Reduces Risk of Fines

PCI compliance is mandatory. If you are not PCI compliant and a data breach is traced back to your business – you will face hefty fines and liabilities. Fines can range in the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Your business may also be liable for additional harm and costs that result from the incident. On top of this, credit card companies may decide to close your merchant account. These penalties can easily jeopardize your operations. In fact, 60% of small business that suffer a security breach close within 6 months.

Protects Your Brand’s Reputation

If a customer’s data is compromised, you will not only have to face hefty fines but you also risk destroying your company’s reputation. 40% of customers that are victims of fraud will stop doing business with the merchant where the fraud occurred. New customers might also be deterred from walking through your doors.

Complying with New Regulations

Finical predicts security concerns will be at the forefront of future payment processing trends. Expect both new technology and more regulations to have a significant role in safeguarding payment data. Businesses will need to pay more attention to industry standards and new legislation that protects consumers. A great place to start is by ensuring you are already PCI compliant.

How to Become PCI Compliant

Every business that accepts credit cards or debit cards needs to be PCI compliant. The benefits of adhering to PCI standards and the risks of not doing are too great to ignore. So how can you ensure your business is PCI compliant?

One way of doing so is by working directly with the PCI Security Standards Council. You can read through the 12 PCI standards on their website to ensure your business is in adherence. The organization also offers training courses and certification programs.

You can also choose to work with a payment processing company that is well-versed on PCI standards and compliance. Look for a payment processing company that offers up-to-date security precautions and can educate you and your employees on the best practices.

Work with a Payment Processor to Become PCI Compliant

Finical is a payment processing company that is both PCI compliant and able to help your business follow the best practices. Finical’s payment terminals are always secured with the most up-to-date technology including EMV, SSL certificates, and CVV2 verification. Finical’s customer service team is always available 24/7 to answer any questions you or your staff members have about compliance standards or other regulations.

Finical works with a variety of larger and smaller businesses to offer payment processing solutions. Finical provides free payment terminals and guides you through the setup process at no additional cost. You can opt into mobile payments, online payments, wireless terminals, cash gift cards, and even customized solutions.

From guiding your business through PCI compliance and giving your customers more payment options – Finical does it all! Get in touch for a free consultation.