All about PCI compliance for small businesses

All about PCI compliance for small businesses

16 March, 2023

Today, while browsing through websites and apps, you are bound to come across visuals that place emphasis on payment security. These measures are in place to protect the sensitive data relayed by customers while making digital payments. These security measures have been adopted due to increasing criminal activity wherein customers and business owners are defrauded of their sensitive financial information, resulting in loss and frustration. This is where PCI requirements and compliance come in to help you ensure that your customers’ information remains safe with you.

What Is PCI DSS Standard?

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) refers to a set of security standards that are designed to ensure that card payments and online transactions remain protected from fraud or data theft. The protocol began in the 190s with VISA establishing its own standard called Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP) to battle rising fraud. MasterCard and American Express took similar steps, but the results were mediocre.

In 2006, an alliance of credit payment agencies formed the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). The PCI Security Standards Council created a well-defined set of payment standards that have to be fulfilled to carry out merchant processing, storing, and transmission of cardholders’ data. These standards have gained popularity as the PCI DSS compliance measures and help businesses evaluate the exposure to losses when they are dealing with cardholders’ information.

To whom does PCI DSS apply?

PCI DSS compliances apply to all organisations, regardless of the size or number of transactions executed. So long as you own or run a business that accepts, transmits, or stores cardholder data, you must comply with the PCI DSS standards.

However, there are four levels of PCI DSS compliance as per the number of card transactions processed in a year. Your organisation, particularly if it deals with cardholder information, will fall within one of these levels and must follow the compliance measures as have been set out:

  • Level 1: Applicable to businesses that process more than six million card transactions per year.

  • Level 2: For businesses that handle one to six million transactions every year.

  • Level 3: Applicable to merchants who process 20,000 to one million transactions annually.

  • Level 4: For merchants who handle less than 20,000 transactions each year.

What is required to be PCI compliant?

To comply with the PCI DSS standards, you must meet 12 key requirements. They are as follows:

  • Install firewalls to protect data.

  • Enable secure password protection

  • Protect cardholder data.

  • Encrypt cardholder data when it is transmitted across public networks.

  • Make use of antivirus software and update them regularly.

  • Maintain and update security systems.

  • Restrict access to cardholder data.

  • Assign unique IDs to those who do have access to such data.

  • Restrict physical access to cardholder data.

  • Regularly track and monitor the access to network resources and cardholder data.

  • Regularly test security systems.

  • Document and maintain information security policy.

Apart from these aspects, PCI DSS compliance also sets out 78 base requirements and more than 400 test procedures.

PCI DSS compliance is compulsory for businesses that accept digital payments via cards. These measures protect customers’ sensitive information by helping you identify and address any gaps in your business’ data security. Eventually, complying with PCI DSS requirements will help you protect your brand’s reputation and retain customer loyalty. If you require financial assistance in ensuring that these compliances are fulfilled, you can rely on HDFC Bank.

At HDFC Bank, our state-of-the-art business growth solutions such as SmartHub Vyapar can help you manage and deliver on the growing expectations of the modern digital customer. You can also explore a wide range of Business Loans to meet immediate cashflow needs or fuel your growth.

To Download SmartHub Vyapar App By HDFC Bank, Click Here.

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​​​​​​​*Terms and conditions apply. The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances. HDFC Bank SmartHub Vyapar is available to only Individual & Sole Proprietorship entity and for select Current Account variants only. For other entity types, please connect with the nearest branch.

Download SmartHub Vyapar App By HDFC Bank, Click Here

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