No matter which industry you operate in, if you are in business, you deal with credit cards. Of course, there are bound to be businesses that still operate on a cash-only basis. But nowadays, most consumers, whether shopping at retail locations, on the Internet or in a catalogue, expect to be able to pay for products and services with a credit card or debit card. The convenience of using cards for payment is one we have become more and more accustomed to. With the proliferation of these card payment processes, breaches in security have increased over the years. Unfortunately, this has led to more instances of i.d. or credit theft. In order to reduce the occurrence of this type of crime, the Payment Card Industry has issued a standard of information security.
What is PCI DSS?
PCI DSS stands for ‘Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.’ The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a worldwide information security standard, which was put together by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). This standard was formed to help organizations and businesses that process card payments to prevent credit card fraud and identity theft through increased controls surrounding personal data and its exposure to breach. The standard applies to any and all organizations which hold, process, or pass cardholder information from any card branded with the logo of one of the card brands, such as Visa or Mastercard.
Many firms are realizing that the cost of becoming PCI DSS-compliant is easily turned into profit by way of customer loyalty. Companies that communicate the strength of their security systems and the way it ultimately benefits customers go a long way toward building strong customer relationships. If a company can make its customers understand that it is increasing its card-processing security standards in order to protect customer data, those customers will feel safe with said company. Furthermore, if a company can build a system that safely collects customer payment data (a.k.a. credit or debit card number, expiration date and pertinent 3-digit security code) and retains it for future use, customer loyalty will be greatly impacted. Customers will be more likely to come back to you time and time again if they know you already have their payment information and that it is safe with you.
It’s All in the Message
The key to making PCI DSS-compliance pay off for your organization in terms of customer loyalty is in how you present what you are doing to your customer. Existing customers will have questions as to how it will affect them, and new customers will benefit from knowing that their data is safe with you. Communicating the benefits to your customers will earn you points for caring about their security and will strengthen their relationship with your business. Organizations that fail to make a big production out of compliance in terms of communicating their efforts to customers are missing an opportunity to build this loyalty.