Sarasota, FL – April 11, 2011
MerchantService.com, a leading provider of merchant account services, is pleased to announce they have released a new article on their website titled “PCI DSS Compliance Mandatory for Credit Card Merchant Accounts.” The article focuses on the required compliance to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) for all merchant account holders, the potential penalties and fines caused by non-compliant credit card processing, and some important guidelines for meeting PCI DSS regulations.
“Many vendors don’t realize that owning a merchant account means abiding by the regulations set forth by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, or PCI SSC. Why should anyone listen to this council? Well, for starters, each member of the council represents a major credit card company,” said Gino Kauzlarich co-founder and owner of MerchantService.com.
“American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, and Visa, are the big players on this council, so for merchant accounts and credit cards, what they say, goes,” explains Mr. Kauzlarich.
The PCI council creates and maintains the PCI Data Security Standards, which consist of 12 requirements involving many sub-directives meant to shield consumers and protect financial information. Says Mr. Kauzlarich, “Nowadays you have credit card fraud, identity theft, merchant account factoring, and class-action lawsuits as a result. Vendors need to be very careful and follow credit guidelines closely.”
Significant penalties ranging from $10,000 to $600,000 await those who are not in compliance with the PCIDSS regulations. Credit card processing privileges may also be suspended permanently.
“It’s tragic to see merchants, most often, make unintentional mistakes that trigger these huge, punitive fines, fines that many times will destroy the business. There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you want to use a credit card machine to process transactions. Knock on wood, so far we’ve been able to help all of our merchant family avoid any such potentially fatal mistakes. But our present payment system environment is extremely hazardous. That’s why these draconian fines have been implemented – to stop the losses by insuring compliance. An expert merchant account provider can make all the difference between success and failure for both new, and experienced merchants,” says Mr. Kauzlarich.
Some important guidelines to help ensure merchant account PCI DSS compliance:
- Verify that credit card processing receipts do not show an expiration date and not more than the last 4 digits of the credit card number.
- Merchant account holders should complete an annual Self-Assessment Questionnaire, a form that includes questions about policies, procedures, and security measures.
- Network Vulnerability Scans must be performed once a quarter. Check account networks for vulnerabilities that can lead to cardholder data loss. Not only does this meet PCI DSS compliance rules, it can help prevent you from being the target of identity-theft class action lawsuits!
Credit card holders can do their part to help prevent credit card machine fraud by reporting businesses that are not in compliance. MerchantService.com goes so far as to offer a cash reward for information leading to the identification of any non-compliant merchants. “We are all in it together to help keep the skunks out of the hen house,” said Mr. Kauzlarich. “We reach out immediately to all reported merchants to educate and help fix the problems, and bring them into immediate compliance.”
In short, to ensure the PCI DSS compliance of a merchant account, work with a merchant services provider that can expertly navigate all PCI CSS guidelines.
For more information on credit card processing merchant account services from MerchantService.com, call toll-free 888-288-3816, or visit http://www.merchantservice.com/.
MerchantService.com provides leading edge credit card processing and business management solutions to merchants through a consultative approach by educating merchants on credit card interchange fees and practices to ensure they are receiving the best possible rates when accepting electronic payments. MerchantService.com delivers expertly consulted merchant account services with a focus on increasing merchant bottom-line profits.