PCI-DSS compliance is essential if you are a sole trader, partnership, limited company or PLC and your business accepts credit card payments from your customers' then it is likely that you already have some knowledge of PCI-DSS. The complexity of compling to the standard varies greatly dependant on what cardholder data you store and the amount of card transactions your business carries out during the course of the year.
The standard was founded by American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, Mastercard Worldwide and Visa with the intention to enhance the security of payment card details whilst raising the awareness of securing data. There are 4 different tiers of PCI-DSS compliance with the Standard ranging from a Level 1 merchant with over 6 million transactions, processed annually, to a Level 4 merchant with under 20,000. All other merchants would fit within Level 2 & 3 tiers which are on a sliding scale between 1 & 4.
To be compliant, a Level 4 business must complete the relevant to PCI-DSS Self Assessment Questionnaire(SAQ) and submit it to their merchant services provider on an annual basis. There are five categories in which your business may fall under as the table below outlines: