PCI Service Provider: Services and Benefits Explained

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The volume of credit card transactions has increased exponentially in recent years. PCI merchants and service providers have an obligation to ensure a minimum security standard. PCI DSS providers have suffered an increasing number of data breaches, and the problem is only getting worse.

But figuring out the obligations of a PCI merchant or service provider is tough. Many aren’t even aware of whether they’re a service provider. Let’s examine everything you need to know about a PCI service provider and their security obligations.

What Does a PCI Service Provider Do? 

The merchant service provider definition is simple. They accept credit cards as a payment method from the five major credit card providers, including Visa and Mastercard.

On the other hand, a PCI service provider is a business entity involved in the storage, processing, and transmission of data from cardholders. These are not payment brands themselves.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for a PCI DSS service provider to be completely unaware that they are classified as a service provider. This lack of awareness of PCI service provider requirements is one of the reasons why data breaches occur.

The Benefits of a PCI Service Provider

PCI DSS compliance is not a legal requirement. It’s a set of standards installed by the five main global credit card issuers.

However, failure to comply with these standards can mean hefty fines and penalties.

For this reason alone, it’s worth taking the time to understand the compliance requirements and take steps to implement them.

Some of the powerful benefits of achieving and maintaining compliance include:

  • Prevent Data Breaches – The number of high-profile data breaches is increasing. Maintaining compliance mitigates the chances of falling victim to a cyberattack.
  • Avoid Penalties – Service providers who fail to comply with PCI security requirements are liable to major regulatory fines. These penalties can soar even higher if non-compliance is discovered in the aftermath of a cyberattack.
  • Maintain Consumer Confidence – Reputation is everything in business. Losing that reputation because you allowed a data breach to happen could destroy your organization’s reputation.
  • Comply with Other Regulations – Putting the systems in place to be PCI compliant lays the groundwork for complying with other data protection regulations, including GDPR and CCPA.

A PCI compliance service provider, like TokenEx, can help you achieve compliance and obtain the business benefits of protecting customer data.

PCI Service Provider Requirements 

There are multiple levels of PCI DSS protection, and it can be difficult to understand PCI compliance for merchant services. Here is a brief overview of requirements service providers need to follow.

It all starts with validating and maintaining compliance with PCI. Providers must complete a PCI Level 1 assessment together with a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA). This demonstrates their commitment to information security.

Some providers may also choose to complete a self-assessment, which requires an SAQ D-Service Provider form.

Providers must then work with merchants on contracts that define their responsibilities. As a service provider, they are also required to help merchants comply with PCI requirements. The PCI Council has plenty of material to help both parties understand best practices

If you’re vetting a PCI service provider, be sure to ask them if they’re compliant with PCI DSS 4.0. Multiple changes have been made to PCI DSS in the latest version, including strong authentication requirements and additional data encryption applications. It is essential for both merchants and providers to prove their compliance with these new requirements.

A List of Compliant Service Providers 

As a merchant, the list of compliance service providers is the global hub for ensuring that you only work with a PCI compliance service provider. Choosing one of these service providers should give you peace of mind when conducting credit card transactions.

Merchants and service providers must work together because a failure of compliance on either end hurts both businesses. Take the time to do your research, and don’t be afraid to reach out to a selection of service providers to choose the best option.

Here’s a short breakdown of some of the service providers that have demonstrated their compliance:

  • 1&1 Cardgate LLC
  • 101Entertainment
  • CA Technologies
  • Cactus Network LLC
  • Forte Payment Systems
  • Jassby Inc.
  • Nymcard Payments Ltd
PCI Compliance Is an Investment in Your Security

Maintaining PCI compliance means investing in your security. Through the power of tokenization, TokenEx supports your business by preventing fraud and data breaches. These solutions are especially helpful as they act as a shield between service providers and merchants.

Contact TokenEx to learn more about creating a security infrastructure that provides lasting protection for your customers. We have the PCI compliance solutions you need to protect your business.