“PCI compliance” may initially sound like a jumble of intimidating jargon, but it holds the key to the trust and security of payment card data.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) establishes the fundamental benchmark for data security. Specifically, obtaining PCI compliance means that an organisation has reached this benchmark in their efforts to safeguard sensitive data.
When merchants process transactions, they take on the responsibility of ensuring customer payment details are secure. If this data is not secure, customers are opened up to fraud. Because of this, adherence to PCI standards will make sure that your business maintains trustworthiness and ethical practices.
At New Payment Innovation, we recognise the unique challenges small and medium-sized businesses face in Ireland’s payment landscape. That’s why we offer PCI-compliant merchant services customised to fit the needs of Irish SMEs.
Since 2014, we have been a leading PCI-compliant merchant service provider, leading the path to secure payments for businesses in Ireland. To learn more about how we process payments, maintain PCI compliance, or anything else in payments, call us at 014475299, fill out the contact form for a callback, or drop into our Citywest HQ for a chat.
The History of PCI Compliance
PCI DSS was established in 2004 by the five major credit card companies: American Express, JCB, Discover, Visa, and Mastercard. Initially it provided the first unified security standards, and it was determined that all merchants processing more than 20000 card payment transactions a year must be compliant.
In the nearly two decades since its inception, the organisation has undergone several iterations. Generally, these have included security updates, management, and expanded guidelines. PCI DSS 4.0 was released in March 2022 and included updates to multifactor authentication, eCommerce standards, and password requirements. In addition, it also included standards for using modern payment options like digital wallets.
6 Principles of PCI Compliance
The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has established a comprehensive framework for PCI DSS, comprising six overarching objectives:
1. Establish and Maintain a Secure Network and Systems
First of all, organisations must maintain robust network security to ensure secure credit card transactions. This includes the deployment of resilient and intricate firewalls that guarantee adequate protection without disrupting the experience of cardholders and vendors. For wireless local area networks, specialised firewalls are available to counteract eavesdropping and malicious attacks. Additionally, the ongoing use of vendor-provided authentication data, such as personal identification numbers and passwords, is discouraged.
2. Protect Cardholder Data
Secondly, PCI DSS requires safeguarding cardholder information, regardless of where it’s stored. Specifically, crucial data repositories containing information like birthdates, mothers’ maiden names, phone numbers, and mailing addresses must be securely protected. The transmission of cardholder data across public networks must be encrypted to fortify data security.
3. Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program
Next, organisations dealing with card services must implement a risk assessment and vulnerability management program to shield their systems from malicious hackers, including spyware and malware. Ensuring that all applications remain free from vulnerabilities and bugs that might be exploited for data theft or tampering is crucial. Likewise, regular updates and patching of software and operating systems are important.
4. Implement Strong Access Control Measures
Robust access control is vital, ensuring that access to system information and operations is restricted and meticulously monitored. Chiefly, every user of the system should be assigned a unique and confidential identification name or number. Furthermore, physical protection of cardholder data is mandatory, which might encompass document shredding, limitations on document duplication, secure disposal methods, and heightened security at points of sale.
5. Regularly Monitor and Test Networks
Continuous network monitoring and testing are critical to verify the effectiveness, currency, and proper operation of security measures. Particularly, antivirus and antispyware programs should consistently receive the latest updates and signatures, conducting thorough scans of all data exchanges, applications, RAM, and storage media.
6. Maintain an Information Security Policy
Finally, organisations must establish and adhere to a formal information security policy that is diligently followed by all participating entities. In some cases, enforcement measures like audits and penalties for noncompliance may be necessary to ensure the policy’s effectiveness.
PCI Compliance Regulations in the EU
There are 12 PCI compliance requirements outlined by the PCI Security Standards Council. Maintaining PCI compliance means making sure each og the 12 standards is upheld.
1. Establish and Maintain Firewall Security
This involves the installation and ongoing maintenance of a robust firewall. It includes rigorous testing of network connections, restricting access to untrusted networks, and implementing various protective measures.
2. Modify Default Vendor Passwords and Security Settings
To enhance security, it’s essential to change default passwords and security settings provided by vendors. This also encompasses enabling only essential services, removing unnecessary functionalities, and encrypting access.
3. Safeguard Stored Cardholder Data
Protecting stored cardholder data entails creating policies for data disposal, limiting the types of data that are retained, and refraining from storing specific data types.
4. Encrypt Cardholder Data During Transmission
When transmitting cardholder data across open, public networks, encryption is imperative. In other words, merchants must refrain from sending unprotected account numbers via email, instant messaging, text, chat, or other user-end messaging technologies.
5. Utilize and Maintain Antivirus Software
Employ and regularly update antivirus software. This entails performing and documenting routine scans and ensuring the continuous operation of this essential protective layer.
6. Develop Security Systems and Processes
Establish comprehensive security systems and processes. This involves creating procedures to identify and address vulnerabilities and other security efforts.
7. Limit Access to Cardholder Data to a Need-to-Know Basis
Restrict access to cardholder data based on necessity. Define access requirements for various roles, establish user privileges, and implement control systems, among other measures.
8. Assign User IDs for All Computer Access
Ensure that all individuals with computer access have designated user IDs. Additionally, put authentication methods in place, document policies in this domain, and take relevant actions.
9. Control Physical Access to Cardholder Data
Implement controls to restrict physical access to cardholder data. Sometimes, this can involve using cameras and other tools to monitor sensitive areas and the handling of specific equipment.
10. Monitor and Track Network and Data Access
Establish a system to track and monitor who accesses networks and cardholder data. This includes maintaining an audit trail, utilizing time-stamped tracking tools, and reviewing logs for any suspicious activity.
11. Regularly Test Systems and Processes
Conduct routine testing of systems and processes. This includes inventorying wireless access points, performing quarterly vulnerability scans, and monitoring network traffic, among other testing procedures.
12. Enforce an Information Security Policy
Lastly, maintain a comprehensive policy on information security. Typically, this entails creating, publishing, and disseminating a policy at least annually. The policy should outline usage rules for specific technologies and set out responsibilities for all involved parties, among other important aspects.
How to Achieve PCI Compliance
Becoming and remaining PCI-compliant can be challenging, particularly for small businesses. Luckily, payment service providers, such as New Payment Innovation, eliminate the need for businesses to maintain their own merchant accounts and manage compliance. Instead, the service provider takes on the responsibility of shouldering certain compliance obligations, resulting in a much more straightforward process compared to businesses managing their own merchant accounts.
The first thing to remember is that when you choose NPI as your merchant service provider, you choose PCI-compliant services with the utmost security and data protection. We do all of the legwork so you can keep your customers’ trust and continue doing good business.
New Payment Innovation’s Approach to Merchant Services
NPI’s commitment to innovation and customer-centricity means we’re not just another payment provider – we’re your partner on the path to seamless payments – and success. Whether you’re a business looking for diverse payment methods, integration with your existing systems, or real-time insights, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how we do merchant services:
Face to Face
For businesses that rely on the stability and familiarity of traditional card transactions, NPI offers seamless wired payment options. These methods ensure that you can accept payments securely through trusted and established channels.
In an era where speed and convenience are paramount, NPI embraces wireless technology for your face-to-face transactions. Our wireless solutions, including contactless payments, enable quick and secure transactions. Customers can simply tap their cards or mobile devices for swift and hassle-free payments, whether they’re shopping in a store or at a vendor’s stall.
Recognizing the growing importance of mobile payments, NPI empowers businesses to tap into the mobile-centric world. With our support for mobile transactions, you can offer customers the flexibility to pay with their smartphones and digital wallets, making the payment process both efficient and user-friendly.
NPI understands the importance of streamlining safe online payments for businesses and ensuring a secure and convenient experience for customers.
Our integrated solutions are designed to seamlessly connect with a wide range of e-commerce platforms and payment gateways. This means that whether you’re a business looking to accept payments online or a customer making a purchase, the process is straightforward and secure.
For businesses, NPI’s integration with e-commerce platforms allows for a hassle-free setup, enabling you to accept payments on your website or digital storefront. Our system effortlessly manages the flow of transactions, ensuring a smooth experience for your customers.
Over the Phone
Our virtual terminals are at the heart of over-the-phone payments. Notably they provide a secure platform where businesses can process transactions remotely. This is especially useful for businesses that offer services or sell products over the phone, through catalogs, or via email. By using virtual terminals, you can efficiently handle card transactions from anywhere, thereby enhancing convenience and accessibility for your customers.
Furthermore, security is paramount in over-the-phone transactions, and NPI takes this responsibility seriously. Our systems are designed to ensure the utmost security for both businesses and customers. Card data is handled with care, and our virtual terminals adhere to industry standards for secure payments.
Contact NPI Today
Explore the NPI difference by getting in touch with our expert team. We’re here to provide guidance, valuable insights, and tailored solutions that align with your unique needs and goals. Reach out to us at 014475299 or fill out the contact form and one of our payment gurus will get back to you.
Merchant Services: FAQs
What does PCI Compliance mean?
PCI Compliance stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards compliance. It is a set of security standards that organizations must adhere to when handling payment card information to ensure the safety of sensitive data.
Why is PCI Compliance essential for businesses?
PCI Compliance is crucial because it safeguards customer payment details from fraud and ensures ethical data handling. It maintains the trustworthiness of businesses and protects cardholders’ data.
What is the history of PCI Compliance?
PCI DSS was established in 2004 by major credit card companies. It has evolved over the years, with the latest version, PCI DSS 4.0, being released in March 2022, incorporating updates to security standards.
How often should businesses update their PCI compliance practices?
Businesses that require flexibility and mobility, like food trucks, market vendors, and event organizers, benefit from wireless terminals.
How do payment service providers (PSPs) help with PCI Compliance?
PSPs like New Payment Innovation take on compliance responsibilities, simplifying the process for businesses. They eliminate the need for maintaining merchant accounts and ensure that businesses follow PCI standards.
What are NPI's PCI-compliant merchant services?
New Payment Innovation offers custom PCI-compliant merchant services that cater to the unique needs of Irish small and medium-sized businesses, ensuring secure payment processing and data protection.
How does NPI handle merchant services?
NPI provides a range of services for face-to-face, online, and over-the-phone transactions, ensuring secure and seamless payment methods for businesses and customers.
What is the importance of secure online payments in today's business landscape?
Secure online payments are crucial to protect sensitive data and ensure a safe and convenient experience for customers. NPI’s integrated solutions simplify online payment acceptance for businesses.
How does NPI ensure security in over-the-phone transactions?
NPI’s virtual terminals provide a secure platform for over-the-phone payments, following industry standards to handle card data securely and protect both businesses and customers.
What are the consequences of non-compliance with PCI standards?
Non-compliance with PCI standards can lead to severe consequences, including financial penalties, loss of customer trust, and legal repercussions. It’s essential for businesses to adhere to these standards to avoid such issues.