- As more consumers are shifting to an entirely cashless lifestyle, payment security is a major concern
- PCI standards dictate how transaction and payment data of all types are to be protected by businesses
- Businesses need payment processing partners that can ensure compliance with PCI requirements
Data security is a serious matter for businesses, and the potential risks of transaction fraud and data theft are too important for anyone to take lightly. Businesses need to take every available step to protect customer information and ensure that they are following the regulations set forth by the governing organizations that oversee compliance to security standards in the payment processing industry.
Trust is of critical importance for businesses, as customers rarely choose companies who are not seen as trustworthy. This is particularly true when it comes to payment processing and data security. The threat of malicious hackers and data thieves stealing the personal information of customers certainly demands that measures are taken to ensure protection against these types of attacks. In fact, payment processing security is such a serious issue, a regulatory organization was created many years ago to oversee the security standards that companies must follow in order to provide customers with the protection they are owed. This organization is known as the PCI Security Standards Council.
What Does PCI Stand For?
PCI is an acronym for Payment Card Industry; however, the PCI Security Standards Council covers so much more than just the cards themselves. This organization is responsible for developing a set of standards for all payment card types, as well as all the supporting technology and equipment required to accept payments and transmit data between each of the parties involved from one end of the transaction to the other. This set of standards is collectively known as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, or PCI DSS for short.
The purpose of the PCI SSC (Security Standards Council) is, in their own words, to be:
a global forum for the ongoing development, enhancement, storage, dissemination and implementation of security standards for account data protection.
The organization accomplishes this by bringing together efforts in education, development of implementation practices, and consumer awareness in order to support businesses and protect the public. Collaboration between card issuers, merchants, and payment processors is how the standards are created, with each party involved contributing their perspective to form a comprehensive set of requirements to secure payment data and protect customers and businesses alike.
What Rules Must Businesses Follow to Comply with PCI Regulations?
The payment security rules that apply to a particular company may vary depending on the type of business in question. This is due to the wide range of payment technologies that exist to suit different business applications, including those for in-store purchases, online ecommerce sales, unattended vending payments, and mobile transactions. For example, merchants who utilize systems that retain cardholder data in digital storage will be subject to a different set of rules than those businesses who do not store or retain cardholder data. Rules also vary for standalone payment terminals, connected POS systems with multiple access stations, online payment processing solutions, card-not-present payments made over the phone, and even those situations where physical imprint machines may still be used, although these are of course becoming increasingly rare.
While there are currently twelve individual data security guidelines contained within the data security standards for payment processing, the overall focus of these can be understood by breaking things down into a handful of core elements. For starters, there are directives that businesses must follow when creating their privacy policies, such as how cardholder data is stored, how long it is retained, and how the data is destroyed afterwards. Policies must also include details on how encryption is used to render customer data unreadable.
Merchants must also have up-to-date anti-virus protection in place, along with sufficient firewall protection to prevent unauthorized access to internal systems from external threats. Of course, potential threats of data breaches are not limited only to external sources. This is why the PCI DSS also dictates the need for internal security measures such as personnel having limited access to systems based on their roles and responsibilities, comprehensive documentation and record keeping, and screening processes to filter and approve team members prior to authorization.
Furthermore, PCI standards also include multiple references to continual improvement, regular updates to systems and software, training and educational initiatives, and testing of security measures and operational processes. Avoiding complacency and remaining vigilant in protecting data is one of the core tenets of the PCI DSS. This is part of the reason why having a merchant services partner who is committed to ensuring payment processing compliance is so important.
To find out exactly how the PCI DSS regulations apply to your company, you’ll need to visit the PCI website and then complete a self-assessment questionnaire that starts with the simple question of ‘how do you accept payment cards?’. To get started, visit the Cardholder Data Security Assessment page on the PCI Security Standards Council website.
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How Does MONEXgroup Help Businesses Remain PCI Compliant?
MONEXgroup is fully PCI DSS compliant. Through the right merchant services provider, businesses can obtain the necessary technology, both hardware and software, as well as valuable training, service, and support to put in place the best in data protection and security measures. MONEXgroup views payment processing security and PCI compliance as top-priority for all businesses, and we work tirelessly for our clients to ensure they maintain the highest levels of data security and protection for their customers through advanced technology, software solutions, and unmatched service and support.
All POS systems from MONEXgroup feature cutting-edge encryption, tokenization, and security protocols to prevent theft of transaction data at each stage of the transaction authentication, verification, and approval process. The encryption and tokenization of payment processing data makes it valid for only one single transaction, rendering it unusable by hackers and data thieves to create fraudulent purchases.
In addition to the state-of-the-art PCI compliant payment systems provided by MONEXgroup, we also elevate our clients’ internal processes by delivering education, training, and integration support. As an all-in-one merchant services company, MONEXgroup has the experience and technical knowledge to keep your business secure and protected from any possible threat related to data loss and transaction fraud, and our promise of 24/7/365 support means that we’re always there when our clients need us, no matter what.
PCI states that maintaining compliance is a cyclical process that never stops. Starting with the assessment, areas for improvement are identified, and fixing known vulnerabilities can commence. Once improvements have been made and fixes have been implemented, review and reporting can then be done to notify card issuers and banks on the state of compliance. Then, it starts all over again and the process repeats, creating a never-ending loop of continual improvement to strengthen protections.
PCI-Compliant Payment Processing Solutions for All Applications
In-Store and Retail Point-Of-Sale Terminals
For in-store payment processing for retailers of all types, MONEXgroup offers the latest in PCI-compliant POS technology from Clover. The Clover Station Duo is the ultimate countertop point-of-sale system, complete with a vast array of business productivity and management tools that you can use to increase efficiencies with powerful inventory control functions, as well as obtain valuable insights and performance analytics. For businesses where space is in short supply, the Clover Mini condenses advanced POS functionality into a compact form factor without sacrificing any capabilities. Both the Clover Station Duo and the Clover Mini are able to securely process payments of all types, including cash, credit cards, debit cards, digital wallets, NFC tap-to-pay cards, and more.
Unattended Payment Processing Systems
Taking payments through unattended terminals can open up new revenue streams for many businesses, extending convenience to customers in remote locations or outside of normal operating hours. MONEXgroup can equip your business with a custom-configured unattended payment terminal that will provide peace of mind to customers that their payments are processed securely, regardless of the location or time of day. Such terminals are commonly used in self-serve vending applications, as well as outdoor environments such as unattended car washes, parking lots, and electric vehicle charging stations. The diversity in unattended payment use cases continues to expand, and innovations are enabling many new types of products and services to be delivered securely through unattended methods, from vending machines in airports dispensing high-value personal electronics, to remote tap-to-donate kiosks for charities and not-for-profit organizations.
Secure Online and Ecommerce Payment Solutions
Accepting payments online is easy thanks to flexible ecommerce platforms that can be integrated directly into most websites. These payment processing solutions feature all the same encryption and data protection measures as physical in-store POS systems, so you can be confident that online transactions are just as safe and secure as any other method of payment. For businesses who don’t need a complete e-commerce platform, but still need a solution for handling payments digitally, a virtual terminal might be the best option. Virtual terminals offer all the same security and PCI compliance as a physical payment terminal, but process payments through an app or web-based interface that can be accessed from anywhere on any smartphone, connected tablet, or PC.
Mobile Systems for On-the-Go Payment Processing
Some businesses need to take their point-of-sale terminal with them, but that can be tough to do with a countertop system. Fortunately, the POS engineers over at Clover developed a powerful handheld terminal that accepts a wide variety of payment methods as well as perform many critical business functions, all in a pocket-sized device you can take anywhere. The Clover Flex goes where you go, and can be enabled with cellular LTE connectivity so you can securely process payments wherever you are able to get a signal. This kind of convenience can make a big difference for your business, delivering a competitive advantage you need to achieve rapid growth and accelerate success.
Contact us to learn how MONEXgroup can equip your business with secure PCI-compliant payment solutions!
Author: Layal Scheirich, Head of Sales at MONEXgroup
Bio: With 18 years of experience in payment processing and merchant services, Layal has seen in-store POS technology evolve from its humble beginnings to contactless, unattended, mobile and online alternatives. Today, Layal is an inspiration to the MONEXgroup’s team and a go-to source of information related to payment processing. She is enthusiastic to share her knowledge with audiences interested in cutting-edge technologies available today, such as unattended payment for self-serve kiosks, e-commerce online payment gateways, virtual terminals, and contactless and mobile payment solutions.
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