by Ty Hardison

Can PCI compliance compromise customer service? Not with the right payment solutions

At the end of the day, vendors really only have one sole purpose - supply their customers with quality products and services. Nothing else matters if this cannot be accomplished. Quality service helps build solid relationships and improves a vendor's brand. All of this leads to greater profitability. So, while all the other minutia that comes with running a business - such as regulatory compliance - is important, it should never compromise a company's primary objective.

PCI compliance is becoming increasingly important as credit card companies continue to innovate and more customers are adopting new payment solutions. Remaining PCI compliant helps establish a vendor as a trustworthy business, but at what cost are businesses attaining compliance?

An article in the online publication Storefront Backtalk examines PCI compliance and wonders if it is effecting customer service. Ultimately, innovative technologies designed to better process payments and handle customer inquiries all have the potential to be placed under the PCI scope and, the inability to get them to comply with PCI standards could make a mess of a vendor's entire operation.

"I recently had a client ask: 'Why is PCI making me stupid?'" writes Walt Conway, a veteran payment technology consultant and author of the article. "By that the client meant she was considering reversing a number of technology, innovations her company had implemented over the last couple of years. Basically, those innovations had the unintended consequence of expanding her company's PCI scope, and the resulting cost of compliance was too much."

While situations like this can certainly arise, it should be noted that forward-thinking vendors are able to both innovate and maintain their PCI compliance. The trick is working with the right payment solutions provider and determining the best solutions to fit the vendor's need. Tokenization, for example, is an innovative practice that stores company data offsite and out of harm's way. This allows businesses to maintain PCI compliance while still offering the quality service their customers depend upon.

by Ty Hardison

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