The Importance of PCI DSS Compliance

The Importance of PCI DSS Compliance

You may be wondering what is PCI DSS and why is it important

What Is PCI DSS?

Short for the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard it is a compliance standard that defines data security requirements relating to the processing, storage or transmission of cardholder data.

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It is similar to GDPR but on a global scale (not just the EU), designed to ensure a secure environment for credit card information handling. 

Why Is It Important?

A breach or theft of cardholder data affects the entire chain.

The loss of trust from consumers in merchant businesses and financial organisations can be devastating to everyone involved.

Plus, a breach of compliance comes with heft fines that can cripple a business.

For further information visit the PCI Security Standards Council website.

The standard was agreed by the major card brands as a common, consistent and secure minimum level of protection to be applied by all organisations that process, store or transmit cardholder data to safeguard payment card data and payment card customers.

It applies to card payments accepted in person, over the phone or online.

The Threat of Card Fraud

PCI DSS was developed in response to the ever-increasing impact and costs of payment card fraud.

5 major card brands – Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover and JCB came together to found an independent council and established the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard or PCI DSS in 2006.

Since then it is continually maintained and updated.


In 2004 annual fraud losses on UK-issued cards had reached £504.8 million but by 2011 after the standards were created losses had dropped to £341.0 million despite the continuing growth of card use and transaction volumes.

A large part of this drop can be attributed to the improved data security practices implemented by merchants as they achieved PCI DSS compliance.

Is Smiles On Demand PCI DSS Certified?

Yes! 🙂

As well as GDPR certified too for our EU involved clients.

PCI DSS is a minimum standard that should be used by all companies handling credit card data to minimise the risk to cardholder data.


Furthermore, at Smiles, we go above and beyond to ensure your customer’s data is kept safe.

For more information set up a call with our CEO Graham Innes on our home page to learn more about how we do what we do.

If you have a question about PCI DSS compliance let us know in the comments section below we would be happy to answer it for you.