Protect Your Customers Credit Card Information

By: Joel Sussman

The growing problems of credit card fraud and online security breaches make it more important than ever for Internet merchants to use a shopping cart system that is PCI Compliant. As 'guidelines' evolve into strict 'requirements' from major credit card brands, merchants have to make sure they're running a tight ship -- at least from the standpoint of information security.

The PCI Security Standards Council announced recently that all merchants and service providers that store, process, and transmit payment card data are required by the payment brands to comply with the PCI (Payment Card Industry) Data Security Standard. In addition to protecting sensitive data from hackers and other security threats, PCI compliance also helps online merchants win the trust of their wary site visitors.

There are a lot of reasons Internet shoppers might abandon a shopping cart or never reveal their credit card information in the first place, but fear about the potential for credit card fraud or identity theft are among those reasons. All it takes is one security breach for an e-tailer to lose their good reputation or their right to process credit cards; and to an ecommerce web site owner, that can spell the end to their Internet business plans.

Bottom line: Make sure that your web hosting company and the eCommerce software on which you rely are PCI compliant and CISP certified. Providers who have successfully completed a "Cardholder Information Security Program" review are the best equipped to help you protect your customers' valuable credit card data and help block it from being routed into the 'wrong hands'.

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