Anyone who accepts credit card payments should be aware of PCI DSS regulations, but busy business owners may not fully understand what their implications mean. It helps to know the underlying principles behind them before you make any major decisions for your business.
A Liability Shift
It's been more than a year since the liability shift occurred, but some merchants are still using the old magnetic swipe cards to process their transactions. While it's possible they may never experience a hack, they're taking a huge chance. The overall trend is to start shifting the responsibility to the merchant. PCI DSS 3.2 came out in April of 2016, and the rules only got stricter for merchants. Credit card companies have shouldered costs for many years, and they're going to do everything possible to find ways for others to share the bill.
Hackers Won't Quit
Credit card skimmers are cheap, easy to install, and a gold mine to criminals. They work perfectly when it comes to lifting the account information from an older (magnetic stripe) credit cards. But even if you use EMV chip cards, there are now devices called shimmers, which shimmy in between the chip reader and the card to steal account data. These are just two ways credit card processing can be a gamble, and they don't even include those who have the tech skills to hack into unsecured computer systems. Hackers have far too much incentive to give up, meaning PCI DSS regulations will always be changing. As hackers change their method of attack, the PCI Security Standards Council will be watching and finding new technology and best practices to thwart the new attacks.
Language to Breathe
Most rules are written with somewhat vague language so they can later be interpreted by the specific situation at hand. PCI DSS regulations require business owners to take reasonable steps to account for customer safety. So let's say you're hacked in May and a brand new security measure that debuted in April could have prevented it. It could technically make you liable due to failure to implement the new measure. Again, each decision is based on circumstances, but it may mean that you have more responsibility than you think when it comes to your financial data.
Online payment systems and merchant accounts don't have to be overwhelming when you have the right partner at your side. Custom payment processing solutions are available to keep you compliant, so your (and your customers') finances stay safe.