Updated PCI Security Standards

Credit Card Fraud had increased dramatically over the years and as a result the card issuers, Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express, and JCB among others, have taken aggressive action to combat this escalating problem; introduce the PCI Security Standards Council. Introduced in 2006, the PCI Security Standards Council is an open global form, developed by the top five credit card issuers mentioned above, to develop, manage, educate, regulate and create processor, merchant & cardholder awareness of new Payment Card Industry standards. The goal is to protect their brand and to do this they need to ensure that consumers have the confidence that their information is protected whether they shop online, or in a card present environment through merchants using a traditional POS, credit card terminal or advanced mobile credit card processing application.

It has been a costly, cumbersome, time consuming and dynamic undertaking. Due to the vast amount of information available and new technologically advanced processing equipment and applications their task is a daunting one. The average merchant account provider and credit card processor receives about 10,000 hack attempts a day. Mobile payment technologies have opened up a whole new arena for criminals to breach security and steal valuable credit card information. Merchants have not been very excited about all of the new regulations and requirements as it has increased their cost but the alternative could be far worse as both, they and the processors, are collectively responsible for information theft and can be subject to severe fines if negligent. Furthermore ignorance to this problem would simply result in increased breaches and theft and cause card processing cost to rise exponentially as a result.

The PCI Security Standards Council recently published PCI Mobile Payment Acceptance Security Guidelines for merchants and end users. Any merchant currently processing with or considering any type of mobile payment system should read to be fully aware of all of the risks and precautions that can be taken and to ensure that a particular terminal, smart phone or tablet device or application is, in fact, secure and compliant. These guidelines can be found at www.pcisecuritystandards.org/security_standards/documents.php.

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