Payment card industry (PCI) compliance is mandated by credit card companies to help ensure the security of credit card transactions in the payments industry. Payment card industry compliance refers to the technical and operational standards that businesses follow to secure and protect credit card data provided by cardholders and transmitted through card processing transactions. PCI standards for compliance are developed and managed by the PCI Security Standards Council.
The Card Associations require that each merchant account be certified as compliant annually. Failure to do so will expose you to risk of higher fines if you incur a data breach, and potentially higher PCI compliance fees from your processor.