Article | March 15, 2016

The Basics of PCI: What Is It?

Source: Cayan

Achieve Invulnerable Payment Data

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a focal point in the payments landscape, but few understand what it actually entails. While it clearly denotes some type of policy, many merchants haven't received a clear explanation on what it is, why it matters and how it benefits them. 

To that end, this new series will help demystify PCI DSS and clarify how it affects the payments space. In this post, we're going to dive into the absolute basics of PCI DSS and define what it is. 

What is PCI DSS?

Quite simply, PCI DSS is a set of requirements that everyone must adhere to if they work with credit and debit card data. Visa, MasterCard, JCB, American Express and Discover helped create these policies to better protect consumers as card payments became more ubiquitous and the threat of fraud increased. 

These universal policies for merchants, card brands, acquirers and every other entity that stores, processes or transmits payments data ensure that security won't vary between parties. What's more, it eliminates any confusion of liability; everyone knows what they need to improve in order to create a secure payments environment and are held responsible when they don't.