You’ve probably heard about Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) if you own or work at a large cardholder data handling company. And if you’re not conversant with it, read on to understand how this cutting-edge technology has revolutionized the e-commerce sector in Hong Kong and globally.
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What is PCI DSS?
PCI DSS is a set of best practices for securing and protecting cardholder data. It was developed by the PCI Security Standards Council, which includes American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, Mastercard Worldwide, and Visa International.
The council designed PCI DSS to help merchants protect their customers from credit card fraud risks. The standard outlines technical and operational requirements for maintaining a secure environment for payment processing.
Merchants who accept card payments must be PCI DSS compliant. Compliance is mandatory if:
- A merchant processes more than 1 million transactions per year
- A merchant processes fewer than 1 million transactions per year but has suffered a data breach in the last 12 months
- Becoming PCI DSS-compliant is voluntary but strongly recommended for merchants that don’t qualify as “Level 1” or “Level 2” under the council’s merchant compliance levels.
Why Is PCI DSS Important?
The PCI Security Standards Council formed the standard to upsurge cardholder data control to reduce credit card fraud. In Hong Kong, validation of compliance is performed annually, either by;
- an external Qualified Security Assessor (QSA). The QSA creates a Report on Compliance (ROC) for organizations handling large volumes of transactions or,
- Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) for smaller companies handling smaller volumes
How Merchants Could Benefit from PCI DSS
With the rapid increase of Internet users and the development of e-commerce, more people are using credit cards to purchase goods and services. With this trend, fraudsters are actively targeting the credit card business. In Hong Kong, for example, unless you enlist the services of cyber security experts such as https://www.nettitude.com/hk/pci-dss/, fraudsters can easily take advantage of your system’s security loopholes to obtain a client’s credit card and personal information. The consumer’s data is thus vulnerable to theft.
The PCI DSS was designed to benefit cardholders, merchants, and financial institutions by establishing a unified standard for payment security. It helps protect cardholder information and reduces fraud, which has become a significant problem—credit card fraud costs over $11 billion every year.
Besides the general benefits of PCI DSS compliance, some specific benefits may be of interest to you as an e-commerce business owner:
• Enhanced reputation – If your company is PCI compliant, you can advertise it as proof of high-security standards. Customers who see that you meet industry standards are more likely to trust your business and may choose it over other companies that don’t have this certification.
• Increased protection – The PCI Security Standards Council and the PCI DSS have set out 12 requirements for data security and additional six general principles for payment security. By making your company compliant with these standards, you can prevent hackers from accessing sensitive data and reduce the risk of a cyberattack.