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Everything Your Small Business Needs to Know About PCI Compliance Levels

When it comes to your business, you want to keep it afloat by any means necessary, which usually amounts to meeting every possible operational requirement. For the majority of businesses out there, this means conforming to PCI compliance standards—but what exactly is PCI? In this article, you’ll learn all about the ins and outs of PCI and why it’s important to your business’s daily proceedings.

So, Just What Is PCI?

PCI stands for Payment Card Industry. It deals specifically with credit cards, and basically creates a safety net for clients and other types of consumers by making it so every existing business has to foster a safe space for credit card usage. Considering how commonly credit cards are used nowadays, you owe it to your clientele to ensure they’re able to use their cards safely without any risk of theft. This security measure is just one of many backup solutions for small business to emerge within recent years.

Does My Business Really Need PCI?

In short, yes. Every business is required to have PCI coverage, no matter their size or the types of clients they primarily deal with. If you take credit cards, you should and are required to comply to PCI standards.

How Does PCI Work?

PCI splits into different levels based on the size of the business and their transactions, progressing from largest to smallest. This is because the larger a business becomes, the more security they’ll ultimately require. Level four, for instance, simply has to deal with anywhere from 20,000 to 1 million credit transactions within one year. Level one businesses, on the other hand, qualify as such because they handle more than 6 million different credit transactions within a year. If a business has more than one Doing Business As handle, they must add together all of the transactions from each alias to receive their appropriate PCI level. If your company really only needs to rely on IT support for small business, then level four PCI coverage is probably best for you.

How Can My Small Business Meet the Qualifications Set Forth by the PCI?

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council has published a free questionnaire for business owners to take. This will allow you to see where you fall under the PCI’s different coverage levels. It mainly evaluates how your transactions take place—whether they’re computerized, how your online shopping cart works if you sell merchandise through the web and more. Once you have all of the information you need, you will then have to obtain a PCI SSC Approved Scanning Vendor scan to test your security, then a compliance test. After you have all of this gathered, you can finally submit it to the PCI SSC for approval. Once this is done, you’ll be covered by a highly relevant IT support group.

To learn more about PCI and other modern security measures for businesses, get in touch with us.

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