What Caribbean Businesses Should Know About PCI Compliance

PCI Compliance is a pertinent requirement for all e-commerce businesses in the Caribbean. For companies to fulfil a safe and secure e-commerce experience while simultaneously ensuring they are meeting international privacy standards; they will need to meet all the requirements of PCI compliance.

As more companies in the Caribbean begin to implement e-commerce on their website they must be aware of what PCI compliance is.  Especially, when they are dealing with customer and credit card data.

What is PCI Compliance?

The acronym PCI stands for Payment Card Industry.  Thus, PCI compliance is a mandated safety measure by credit card companies to ensure the highest level of security around credit card transactions.  These standards are developed and maintained by the PCI Security Standards Council.  It requires technical and operational standards for businesses to abide by.  In order, to have secure credit card transactions that are protecting credit cardholders’ data.

Why does my website need to be PCI Compliant?

Banks in the Caribbean ask all new e-commerce customers about their PCI compliance status.  In many cases, they also ask you to fill out a PCI questionnaire.  This allows them to verify that companies that will be storing card data are abiding by all the relevant security measures on their server.

Legislation across the world has strict privacy regulations and penalties for companies that misuse customer data or have data breaches.  Especially, when it is credit card data.  Therefore, companies that meet the PCI compliance requirements authenticate that they are carrying out safe online operations that are abiding by worldwide privacy laws.

It is equally important for customers to know so that they are comforted by the fact that their transactions with your company are safe and you are keeping their credit card information secure.

How do I make my website PCI Compliant?

Smaller merchants have to obtain a PCI compliance check and larger organizations require a certificate.  Certification is needed for companies that process a large number of daily transactions.  Whereas the PCI Compliance checklist is required for all businesses processing credit card payments.  The majority of small and medium businesses in the Caribbean offload their credit card processing and data to payment gateways that are PCI certified like First Atlantic Commerce.

However, regardless of the size of the organization or if they are using a payment gateway, all companies must become PCI compliant.  To do that businesses need to meet a number of security requirements on the PCI checklist.

The PCI DSS has six major objectives and 12 key requirements.  However, you may not need to comply with all of them, depending on the type and volume of transactions you process.   You can find this checklist in our blog post about the PCI checklist and levels of PCI compliance here.

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