Whether you have a large business or a very small Etsy shop; if you accept credit card payments, you better be in PCI compliance! The violations for not being in compliance could cost you your livelihood!
What is PCI Compliance?
PCI, also known as PCI DSS, stands for the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. This standard applies to any businesses that accept credit cards as a form of payment. These businesses range from large corporate enterprises to Mom and Pop shops, small online stores, and businesses who take payments over the phone. The purpose of PCI DSS to maintain a secure environment for processing sensitive credit card information. PCI DSS has four levels of compliance depending on the number of transactions placed within any given year.
- Level 1 – Any merchant who processes over 6 Million Visa transactions annually
- Level 2 – Any merchant who processes between 1 Million and 6 Million Visa transactions annually
- Level 3 – Any merchant who processes between 20,000 and 1 Million Visa e-commerce transactions annually
- Level 4 – Any merchant who processes less than 20,000 Visa e-commerce transactions annually
Penalties for Compliance Violations
Being found in non-compliance to PCI DSS is a pretty serious offense. Your business may face drastic fines or loss of important relationships for negligent PCI compliance attitudes. Credit Card processing technology is tied to businesses bank. If found in non-compliance, the businesses bank can be fined anywhere from $5,000 up to $100,000 a month until compliance is appropriately met. That’s a pretty hefty fine to be hit with on a monthly basis – even for larger enterprises! What’s more, based on your bank, they may decide to raise the processing fees per credit card transaction or completely terminate your relationship altogether. This forces you to no longer accept credit card payments and severely limits your business abilities. For smaller businesses, not maintaining PCI compliance could be catastrophic. Unfortunately, information pertaining to PCI DSS compliance is not readily available or talked about, leaving many businesses unaware and unprepared for an audit.
Retain Compliance, Stay in Business
Most businesses fall within the Level 3 and Level 4 merchants. These companies are the most at risk due to their size and inexperience in the enterprise ruled marketplace. With an IT provider like Hill Country Tech Guys, your company doesn’t have to worry about expensive monthly penalties or destroying the relationship with your bank. They can keep you completely up-to-date with PCI DSS compliance and ensure your network is secure, enabling you to continue processing credit card payments.