PCIComplianceGuide.org offers this information to assist you in understanding the Payment Card Industry Compliance regulations.Consumers have enjoyed using credit and debit cards for many years. Whether the cards are used for purchasing vacations, enjoying meals at restaurants or buying needed items for the home or office, these plastic cards are part of society. Today, many employees are paid with payroll cards, a recent innovation that allows employees to access their paychecks from wherever they are.
However, sophisticated thieves have been able to extract credit and debit card information from unsecured databases and other means. This has resulted in a higher incidence of identity theft, a crime that affects merchant companies, financial institutions, e-commerce companies and individuals.
Because of these security breaches, the major credit card companies - American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa - decided to create regulations to help prevent theft of consumers' data. The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards were created by MasterCard and agreed to in 2004 by the four major credit card companies. Each of the credit card companies has its own term for these standards. On June 30, 2005, the regulations took effect.
The American Express program is called Data Security Operating Policy (DSOP); the Discover program is called Discover Information Security and Compliance (DISC);The MasterCard program is called MasterCard Site Data Protection (SDP); and the Visa program is called Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP).
Payment card industry compliance and validation protects vendors, employers and employees, consumers from suffering financial and data loss because of unprotected network systems.
Any business that accepts credit cards needs to be aware of the PCI Data Security Standards and implement them on its network. Doing this brings peace of mind to the vendors and the consumers and can save large companies millions of dollars every year. Small and mid-size companies also benefit, because they can assure their customers of the safety of their network and avoid security breaches which cost them loss of business and income.
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