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The Importance of PCI Compliance

You’ve likely seen stories in the news about security breaches that have compromised customer information, costing a fortune in losses, fines and future business. It’s an expensive and growing problem as illustrated by this infographic. Every business, large or small, has a responsibility to protect their customers’ personal information, including their payment details. To ensure this happens, credit card companies came together in the mid-2000s to establish guidelines known as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).

Let’s go over the what, why and how of PCI compliance.

What exactly is PCI Compliance?

PCI DSS is mandated by credit card companies to help ensure the security of credit card transactions. Specifically, it refers to the technical and operational standards that businesses need to follow to protect credit card data. While there is not necessarily a specific law for requiring PCI compliance, it is regarded as mandatory through court precedent.

Why does being compliant matter?

First, being PCI compliant will help you avoid fees and fines if a breach should unfortunately take place. If you are not compliant and private customer information is ever compromised, you’ll be on the hook for those stolen funds and more. You may have to pay back your customers and their banks and face a potentially hefty fine. These fines cripple, and in many cases, completely close businesses every year.

By adhering to the PCI DSS, you and your employees cannot be found at fault for a breach. Better safe than sorry!

Second, your customers expect you to protect their information. Consumers’ decisions are often based on their comfort level and their perception of how their personal information is treated, which affects their decisions on where to shop. If you are irresponsible with their personal information, they may not give you a second chance.

You’ve worked hard to build a good reputation. One data breach can ruin it forever.

How do you stay PCI Compliant?

Business owners need to be wary of fraud trends and make sure they maintain responsible business practices to keep their customers’ information protected.

That’s where Commerce Bank can help.

We have in-house PCI resources for all of our Merchant Services customers, including training, best practices and industry insights to help you stay up-to-date on the latest fraud trends and keep your business protected. Commerce Bank employs a dedicated PCI Compliance team to help our customers maintain their compliance every year, saving them money on interchange fees and non-compliance fines. Our all-in-one solution eliminates the need to cobble together a compliance plan through multiple vendors – you can keep track of everything, from achieving to maintaining compliance, in one handy portal.

Establishing and regularly updating your PCI compliance plan will help to prevent data breaches, and more importantly, maintain your customers' trust and loyalty.

To learn how we can help you navigate the PCI landscape, schedule a free appointment by contacting our Merchant Services payment security team today. In the meantime, here’s a quick video with a few more things you should know about PCI compliance.

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