What can happen if you aren't PCI compliant?

Securing customer data is certainly important. Organizations don't need to be told to keep sensitive data safe, yet there are plenty of vendors out there that do not comply with payment card industry (PCI) standards. In other words, they don't follow the regulations placed on companies to keep data secure. 

This is an unwise move, because there are a myriad of potential ramifications for companies that aren't PCI compliant. For example, the reputation hit will be massive and non-compliant organizations could have a hard time standing out in an increasingly competitive market.

Suppose two B2B providers are vying for business from one particular company. They offer similar products and services and have a similar price structure. In cases like this, the customer will look for any possible advantage from going with one business over the other. In this scenario, if one vendor is PCI compliant and the other isn't, which one do you think the customer will go with? 

PCI compliance is an extremely valuable marketing tool because it shows organizations that they can be trusted to manage their data. Those that aren't compliant will struggle marketing to security-concious businesses.

Moreover, companies that aren't PCI compliant could suffer fines from the government. The details pertaining to this vary depending on the industry, but it is something businesses must be cognizant of. Non-compliant vendors will be scrutinized and looked down upon in the industry. Other organizations won't want to attach themselves to such companies, nor will the government feel compelled to offer any needed assistance.

In short, PCI compliance is a must. As beneficial as it is, simply preventing all of the potential consequences is where the practice carries most of its value. Working with a payment solutions provider will help organizations obtain the tools needed to become PCI compliant. 

by Ty Hardison

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