Special PCI Alert

A Special PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) Alert for Vantage clients.

This week the number of reported solicitations by phone and fax to our merchant community, especially medical, dental and veterinary practices, has spiked.

The common scare tactic involves being subject to fines if immediate action is not taken. Merchants are told that they have no option but to follow the instructions provided, which typically involves providing contact information, setting an appointment, or paying a fee.

Many of the tactics used will try to make it sound as if they are calling on behalf of your service provider. Please be aware that these solicitations are NOT endorsed by Vantage. We do NOT release any information to any 3rd party.

The PCI scare game has also become the “lead story” for the acquisition of merchant accounts by many sales organizations. And PCI fees have also become a popular revenue source for these same sales groups.

While it’s important to recognize the above solicitation tactics, it is in every merchant’s best interest to understand and comply with the basic tenants of PCI to protect your business. While all the payment technology Vantage recommends for payment processing is PCI compliant, only you can ensure that your procedures and policies on how your employees handle card data are enforced at your business. If you have card data in a file drawer or stored on your PC, or if you have other software or systems in place that touch card data besides the actual payment application (payment terminal, payment gateway, payment software), let’s make sure these are secure.

For years, we have communicated the importance of securely handling card data. A PCI statement message runs every month on your merchant statement and a host of PCI information can be found on the Vantage Card Services web site at: http://www.vantagecard.com/resources/PCI_Data_Security.html. And as you know, Vantage does not charge our clients monthly or annual PCI fees.

We have established a PCI hotline. Email your PCI questions to pci@vantagecard.com. In addition to replying to your question directly we will also compile a FAQ&A on the Vantage web site as an additional reference tool.

As always, Thank You for entrusting your merchant services and payment processing to Vantage Card Services.

by Ty Hardison

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