Think about your company and your privacy and cybersecurity initiatives. Now, choose the appropriate answer: “PCI compliance for our organization is”

a) important,
b) a hassle,
c) mandatory,
d) smart

The correct answer is A, C, D and —all too often —B. 

Anytime you or your company handles sensitive information, cybersecurity is a concern. Ignoring or not implementing cybersecurity compliance best practices can be a costly mistake. The risks of not incorporating PCI compliance into your payment solutions include:

  • Industry fines for non-compliance
  • Increased risk of data breaches
  • Fines and lawsuits that result from data breaches
  • Government intervention (FTC has sued companies for prior security breaches))
  • A loss of customer confidence

For any organization that accepts or handles credit card data and transactions, compliance with Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards should be a given. The moment your company accepts your users’ payment information, as well as any other sensitive data about your customers and/or students means that compliance with industry security standards should be paramount for you, as well as any SaaS payment processing tools. 

PCI is a collection of best practices that the major credit card companies have identified as crucial security concerns,organized into 12 core areas. While the certification process is a snapshot of your strengths at a given moment in time, true PCI compliance is a continuous process. 

Image Credit: ADKtechs

Takeaway: PCI doesn’t end when you get a letter of compliance.

The good news is that there are solutions that can ease the burden of achieving compliance:

  • Working with solution providers that help to take your processes out of scope. 
    • Look for providers that tokenize sensitive data so that information never touches your systems.
    • Look for providers that take the need to store sensitive information off of your plate.
  • Working with providers that build their platforms specifically for the needs of your organization. 
    • When possible, find partners that are not only familiar with the requirements of the payments industry but who also understand your specific industry and implementation.