The PCI Security Standards Council is an open global forum for the ongoing development, enhancement, storage, dissemination and implementation of security standards for account data protection. The PCI Security Standards Council’s mission is to enhance payment account data security by driving education and awareness of the PCI Security Standards. The organization was founded by American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, MasterCard Worldwide, and Visa Inc. Why should a merchant, comply with the PCI Security Standards? At first glance, especially if you are a smaller organization, it may seem like a lot of effort, and confusing to boot. But not only is compliance becoming increasingly important, it may not be the headache you expect.

Complying with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a great first step to protecting your business, your customers, and your reputation from the repercussions of cardholder data theft. The Payment Credit Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requires merchants, and service providers that store, process, or transmit cardholder data to apply security requirements to all “system components”. Additionally, everybody who simply accepts card payment must comply as stated in their merchant agreement with their bank.