In our last blog we had briefly discussed PCI Compliance and what a merchant must do to become PCI Compliant. If you own an ecommerce store, the provocative question for you would be “should I be PCI compliant and certified?”
Before we move ahead it is important to note the difference between being PCI Compliant and PCI Certified.
- PCI Compliant – Your e-commerce store (in other words your business) becomes PCI compliant when it meets the requirements mentioned in the PCI DSS guidelines.
- PCI Certified – Being PCI certified is more than just being PCI Compliant. PCI Compliant is more like a self-audit process, whereas being PCI Certified requires not just self-audit but also involves a rigorous audit by a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) certified by PCI Standards Council followed by a final validation by PCI Standards Council. Note – Being PCI Compliant is not an end in itself, but it helps in getting PCI Certified.
Although being PCI Certified might seem like a huge task, we advise you to go ahead, make the required changes on your website and get PCI Compliant. Not convinced; here are few reasons and benefits why you must get PCI certified:
- Protect your Customers and Build Trust – Being PCI certified not only safeguards your customer’s critical information but also assures them that your website is safe and secure which builds trust. They can be rest assured that their card details are safe and shop with confidence. This trust then translates into loyalty from your customers – repeat business and recommendations.
- Growth – Being PCI certified might also bring new business. Your reputation improves which might drive your visitors to become paying customers.
- Competitive Advantage – If your competitors are not PCI certified then this can be a very useful competitive advantage which you can use to drive customers away from your competition.
- Mitigate Business Risks – Failure to comply can lead to negative long-term consequences.
- Reputation Risks – The data that has been compromised often has negative affect on merchant’s reputation; just one single incident can damage your well-earned reputation and restrict your ability to do further business.
- Avoid Lawsuits and Fines – While this cannot be guaranteed but being PCI Certified helps you avoid other negative consequences like:
- Insurance claims
- Payment card issuer fines
- Government fines
- Cancelled accounts
- Improved Google Ranking – If you customers cannot find you then they cannot purchase. Being PCI Certified might also improve your chances of ranking better on Google.
- Peace of Mind: This might not come across as a benefit to many merchants, but having smooth operations is vital for any business. Knowing that you have done everything right to ensure that your organization runs smoothly while being secure is the most satisfying feeling ever.
- Satisfied Customers: Customer satisfaction is among the top priorities. If your website is secure, you will have customers coming back to it. For the customers itself, they are assured that their information is secure and do not have to worry about anything. An improved customer relationship often translates into bigger profits.
But kindly remember that this is not a one-time but an ongoing process.
- Helps to prevent theft and security breaches on an ongoing basis
- The PCI Security Standard Council constantly monitors threats. In case any threat is detected, the Council immediately enhances the policy so that it stays up-to-date.
- In addition, the Council gives training to security professionals so that they can tackle the threat for merchants like you.
- When you comply with PCI, you are a part of the global solution that is fighting against card data compromise.
As a business owner, you must take all the necessary measures to keep your business and customers safe. Your customers trust you in keeping the information safe; the best you could do is to repay them by being PCI compliant.
Are you PCI Compliant or working towards it? Share your thoughts, feedback and suggestions by commenting below. Alternatively, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org