What is PCI Compliance? How Can It Grow Your Business?

What is PCI Compliance? How Can It Help your Business Grow?

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Your business reputation relies on compliance with regulations. Why not use the compliance work you’re already doing to grow your client base?

Following Payment Card Industry (PCI) rules is a must for any company that accepts credit cards. By choosing a Level 1 compliant payment vendor, you can keep sensitive card data safer. Along with this, many types of businesses can use PCI compliance as a talking point to attract new customers.

What is PCI Compliance?

Compliance and security officers should be familiar with the data security requirements for accepting credit cards. Others involved in running a business might not be.

Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS) are the rules the card industry has created to encourage a safe payment environment for consumers. It is important to follow these rules for a few reasons.

  • PCI compliant credit card transactions establish trust with consumers.    
  • Reducing the likelihood of a data breach helps you avoid the costly fallout that goes along with it.
  • Proper adherence eliminates fines and fees that can be charged to your business if you are found to be noncompliant.
  • In some cases, a business may even be barred from accepting credit cards if they don’t follow the compliance rules.

PCI Compliance Levels

There are different levels of compliance organizations must adhere to. The appropriate level for your business is determined by how many transactions you process per year.

Even those who qualify for the lowest level of compliance are still required to complete a Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ). Even some of the smallest merchants may be called to conduct network scans to prove there are no vulnerabilities within their network. Using a Level 1 compliant payment software keeps consumers safe, keeps your company safe and reduces your burden of PCI compliance.

Compliance levels matter to the credit card companies that rely on merchants to operate safely. They also matter to the consumers who trust their credit card information is being handled with care. A payment vendor that cares about these requirements makes your burden of PCI easier. Their secure technology may also be taken advantage of to grow your business.

How PCI DSS Compliance Can Grow Your Business

PCI compliance is a necessity for protecting cardholder data. And, having strong security systems and processes that comply with PCI puts businesses at an advantage over competitors.

Collection Agencies

Marketing in the debt collection industry is hard. It’s not always the top priority for an agency, but it’s necessary to bring in new clients. Prospects feel more comfortable agreeing to a business relationship with companies who take card industry data security seriously. Leveraging PCI security in your agency’s marketing can quickly set you apart from the competition.

Advertise to your prospects and clients that you, your software system and your payment provider all have PCI compliance certifications. This may establish your agency as the only secure option for their business.

Core collection software packages where employees enter credit card numbers are subject to PCI-PA (payment application) certification. Most of these software packages transmit credit card numbers but have not been certified–putting you, the merchant, out of PCI compliance.

Choosing vendors that transmit, store and manage your credit card numbers has a direct effect on your company’s status and potential business. Nearly all RFPs (requests for proposal) in the collection space require submission of a PCI certificate. Using a software platform without certification or specific technology for payment card processing will stop you from meeting that requirement.


Hospitals and medical offices that process larger numbers of credit card transactions per year have more at stake than a small business.

  • The larger number of transactions makes you a bigger target for a data breach.
  • This higher volume requires healthcare facilities to obtain a higher level of PCI compliance. Frequently, you must certify both a card present and card-not-present environment.
  • Hospitals and other medical offices are also likely to be liable in the event of a data breach (which may not only involve PCI, but HIPAA as well).

Hospitals and medical practices must have a significant amount of security and data protection due to HIPAA requirements.  By choosing a Level 1 Certified payment processing partner and implementing best-in-class software for processing those payments, facilities eliminate the need for network scans to achieve PCI certification.  

Some of the more recent advances in credit card processing software include the use of java scripts and secure i-frames. These features ensure a facility’s network never actually touches a credit card number. A few of these providers also create and manage tokenization of credit card numbers.  With this feature, the vendor becomes the steward of card numbers. This allows your facility to select any merchant processor you like and still process future payments without asking consumers for their card number any time you make a switch.

Integration Partners

Softwares that integrate with a payment processor may still be required to comply with PCI security assessments (depending on how the softwares interact). If an integration partner chooses a processing partner that offers technology like patented Secure Entry Overlay, their software is removed from PCI scope.

While a business client is working within their core software platform, the data entry field for a card number is pulled in on top of the core software platform. This field is actually hosted on a PCI certified server in another location. The payment processor hosting this service receives the credit card number directly, tokenizes it and returns the token to the original software platform.  This permits clients the ability to process voids, credits or recurring payments at a future date without actually having the card number. This convenience can attract new customers by offering two products that work together to minimize company PCI compliance and offer payment security to consumers.

For more information on how PDCflow can ease your PCI compliance burden through our patented technology, visit our Secure Entry Overlay page: