PCI Compliance Fees

Last Updated on May 31, 2011

With companies issuing credit cards demanding tougher security when it comes to transmitting credit card numbers online, most businesses that allow the use of credit cards are currently advised that they will be charged an annual fee that is used to cover the cost of being compliant with the security regulations posed by major credit card issuers such as American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Discover. This fee is referred to as the PCI compliance fee that is shouldered by any business establishment there is.

With credit card issuers suffering from some huge losses due to identity theft and the like, they are imposing PCI or Payment Credit Industry compliance fees on their merchants to help prevent any identity theft when transactions are ongoing whether the merchant is using the Internet or through a credit card terminal placed beside the cash register.

To determine the PCI compliance fee you need to pay you will often start with the Self-Assessment Questionnaire which you can get online. Using this questionnaire the department which handles security will be able to determine your business’ method of processing credit card sales and provide you with the appropriate steps to take if needed.

By answering the questionnaire you will also determine what level of merchant are you in the industry. This is quite easy to discover since it bases it’s leveling on the amount of transactions you receive and process every year. If your business establishment processes about 6,000,000 transactions within a year, you will be given merchant level 1 ranking and if you get to process about 20,000 per year then your level will be 4.

Those who fall under the Level 1 ranking is estimated to be paying at least $125,000 for assessment only and $570,000 to get the entire business compliant. Level 2 merchants are expected to pay about $105,000 with an additional $267,000 to become PCI compliant. Those who are under the level 3 merchant ranking will pay at least $44,000 plus $81,000 while level 4 merchants fee depends on how many transactions they process within a year.

The SAQ is usually required for those falling under levels 2 to 4 and is required to have a quarterly scan to check whether there is any security breach with their connection online. This scan is estimated to be between $150 and $2,500 per IP address per year.

There are other costs that you should keep in mind as well such as upgrades for hardware and software for your business to tighten your security. No matter how small or big your establishment is as long as it accepts transactions using credit cards is required to become PCI compliant otherwise you are opening your doors to lawsuits that will be bad for your company’s image.

Tightening your security measures when it comes to credit card transactions is a must. By becoming PCI compliant you can give your customers more reason to put their trust on your company for whatever they have in mind knowing that any transactions will be safe and secured.


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About the Author

My name is Gerald Evans and I am a co-founder of CheapestMerchantAccounts.com. We launched this website in an effort to provide the world's best merchant account resource and review website. We have done extensive research on each and every provider listed and are continually working to improve our website and rankings.

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