Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) and why it matters to you as an on-line merchant

To an on-line merchant, ensuring the security of your customers personal and payment information is vital. It's as important as locking the front door of your shop at the end of the days trade is for a physical merchant, if not more so.

Many eCommerce or on-line merchants will have seen the PCI DSS “tick” logo on some payment gateway’s websites or promotional material but what does it actually mean? Lets start with a definition from the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council website. The PCI DSS:

“set the operational and technical requirements for organizations accepting or processing payment transactions, and for software developers and manufacturers of applications and devices used in those transactions”

Before PCI DSS was created, each of the main payment card brands issued their own requirements for ensuring that cardholder data was held securely.

In 2004, the PCI DSS version 1.0 came into force bring together for the first time the five different standards and programs amongst the mainstream credit card brands namely;

  • Visa;
  • MasterCard;
  • American Express;
  • Discover Card; and
  • JCB.

From the 2004 onwards, the PCI DSS was adopted as a common standard for these dominant card brands, Since then, the PCI DSS have been regularly updated, with the most recent standard (as of December 2015) being Version 3.1, which was released in April 2015.

IPGPAY’s gateway is Level 1 PCI DSS certified, meaning that we hold the highest level of PCI DSS certification. As a merchant, this means your customers data is held in the highest level of independently verified secure systems.

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