Who Needs to Be PCI Compliant?

Apr 30, 2024

PCI compliance applies to any organization that handles credit card data, regardless of size or transaction volume. This includes storing, processing, or transmitting cardholder data. 

So, who exactly needs to comply with PCI DSS? The answer is any organization that handles cardholder data in any way. 

Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Merchants: This applies to both online and brick-and-mortar stores that accept credit card payments. It doesn’t matter if they use a mobile reader, traditional point-of-sale system, or even take payments over the phone.
  2. Service providers: This includes any company that stores, processes, or transmits cardholder data on behalf of merchants. This could be a payment processor, data center, or even a cloud service provider who handle sensitive payment information.
  3. Software developers: In some cases, software developers who create applications that accept credit card payments may also need to comply with PCI DSS. This emphasizes the crucial role of security measures embedded within the development process itself. integrating security best practices from the ground up, software developers can help to mitigate vulnerabilities and contribute to a more secure payment ecosystem.

Even if PCI compliance itself isn’t mandated by law, major credit card companies can impose hefty fines or even bar non-compliant businesses from accepting payments. There are also some states with laws that enforce some or all of the PCI DSS standards.

The entities outlined above – merchants, service providers, and software developers in specific cases – share a collective responsibility for safeguarding credit card information. By adhering to the PCI DSS framework, these organizations work together to create a more secure environment for card transactions. This not only protects sensitive data but also fosters trust and confidence among consumers who utilize these payment methods.

Our team of experts can help you navigate the world of payment options, find the perfect fit for your organization, and ensure a smooth, seamless experience for your donors. Let us help you focus on your mission while we handle the behind-the-scenes financial operations. Ready? Contact us today for a free consultation.

We are here to help:

Up next — Initial steps of achieving PCI compliance through Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ)


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