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The e-commerce market continues to grow at an incredible pace across all industries. More consumers now shop online, and online retail sales keep increasing every year. However, it is not all hunky dory in the online business landscape. One of the biggest concerns online businesses must grapple with is the increase in data breaches. Now that payments happen online, there is a big risk of data loss without proper data protection mechanisms. The industry has adopted secure online payment systems, but there is still a need for regulation and close monitoring. This is where Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards come in to protect cardholder data. If you are an online business owner, there are various benefits of becoming PCI compliant.
This article examines the risks of insecure payment systems, PCI standards and the importance of PCI compliance. Keep reading.
PCI in Brief
The advent of internet technology provided an ample opportunity for businesses to expand their reach. As more people went online, trendsetters in all industries moved their operations to this platform to tap into the new opportunities. The early online stores had to accept credit cards to offer a seamless online shopping experience, and this is where security problems started.
With no regulation on data security, data processing, and data storage, it was only a matter of time before credit card fraud started to hamper online shopping. At this point, providers of payment solutions came together to develop the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard or PCI DSS compliance standard.
PCI standards define data security requirements for businesses handling online payments. The bottom-line is to protect the online shopper by minimizing risk to cardholders’ data. Today, this is an industry regulatory requirement accepted worldwide. Businesses must undergo rigorous requirements, to become PCI compliant and it is an ongoing process.
Reasons for PCI Compliance
The process of PCI compliance is tough but when your company is compliant, there are multiple benefits you enjoy. These include:
The last thing you want as an online business owner is for your customers to lose their data while transacting on your website. This can lead to devastating lawsuits, loss of brand trust and ultimate failure of your business. Information flow online is fast and swift and within no time, your business will hemorrhage customers leading to a slump in sales. By complying with PCI standards, you can rest easy knowing your customers’ card data is safe and secure.
The PCI badge on your website makes shoppers more comfortable to undertake transactions. It is a badge of honor for any business to attain and it takes a lot of investment in security standards on your website. It is easy to build customer loyalty when you offer a secure shopping experience.
When your customers feel secure shopping from your website, they will always come back. If there is no security breach on your e-commerce website, there is a higher chance of retaining existing customers while attracting new ones. All these factors boost sales conversion which in turn improves returns.
The issue of data fraud affects all businesses in the online ecosystem. If your business suffers a data breach, there is an immediate impact on all other businesses as customers will fear the same will happen elsewhere. For this reason, your business will suffer hefty fines from PCI in case of failure to comply with the standards. These hefty fines force businesses to observe best practices in data protection while at the same time implementing all guidelines provided by PCI.
Internet shoppers can always switch to another online store if they feel uneasy making payments on your website. For this reason, you need to invest heavily in your image branding and one way of doing this is by becoming PCI compliant. Consumers now appreciate the importance of security when shopping online. If you have met the highest standards, they will comfortably shop from you and recommend you to their friends too.
When thinking about facilitating online payments on your e-commerce website, you should look for a payment solutions company that will boost your efforts to achieve PCI compliance. By becoming PCI compliant, you will easily sustain your business by averting fraud, increasing customer loyalty and building brand trust.
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