PCI Compliance Explained – How to integrate it with POS Software?

If you are processing credit/debit card payments, you should know about Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance. Most companies don’t know and face the consequences when they fail to comply with it. It is also risky for the security and privacy of customers. In this guide, we will discuss PCI compliance and how to be fully compliant. 

About PCI Compliance 

PCI DSS compliance is always needed to accept credit card payments. This standard consists of certain rules and regulations which can handle credit card transactions. The protocols cover how to process, transmit, and store credit card data safely, when it comes to making credit card payments. The key here is to avoid data theft and fraud. 

The PCI SSC (Security Standards Council) handles PCI Compliance certifications and standards. In 2006, leading credit card providers like MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover formed this individual body.  

Usually, a PCI SSC certified compliance manager in leading organizations or IT departments handles PCI standards for data security. There are some objectives of PCI compliance, such as – 

  • Companies must perform important best practices like setting up firewalls and having a strong password mechanism. 
  • Companies must build a secure network to protect customer data against security breaches and hacks. 
  • Multiple security layers must be implemented, such as physical and virtual protection. 

Keep in mind that PCI compliance is mandatory for every business accepting credit card payments. A business must have a strong access control system to retrieve cardholder’s data. It means only a few people can access the data and monitor them well. 

How to be PCI Compliant? 

With new vulnerabilities coming out and standards being developed in PCI compliance, your business should stay up-to-date with credit card security standards. You should rely on the reputed payment processor which complies with all the PCI regulations. Find the one which provides features like encryption and tokenization to secure credit card information. 

You also have to stay updated with your compliance and complete some programs. PCI SSC must provide details on certifications and schedules related to program fee on their official website. The fees can be expensive as per what you need for compliance level. 

Implementing PCI Compliance with POS System PCI compliance is important but also a painful process at the same time. The best thing is that you can easily implement iPad POS software with PCI DSS. Some POS systems are designed from scratch by considering security. These systems can easily secure the payments with other stakeholders. It secures all the credit card data with each transaction. It is virtually impossible to counterfeit or hack the data thanks to its patented code mechanism. You can have all the tools you need to secure your customers’ data.

How to Protect Your POS System and other Valuables from Theft?

Small businesses were already fighting hard to survive against the monopoly of large-scale retail chains. Later on, the arrival of COVID-19 strikes those businesses hard with worldwide lockdowns. Over the past few months, a lot of small stores were looted. Those events were truly horrifying considering how a sudden attack could be disastrous to the finances of small business owners. 

Independent and small business owners, however, can take some precautionary measures to avoid some common hazards. Of course, there is no way to completely prevent break-ins and theft in stores. But it is always wise to plan in advance to protect and insure your store’s items. Do your own research to figure out the coverage of your insurance in case any damage or theft happens. 

Secure your POS system – The POS or Point of Sale system is at the core of business of every store. You can go for POS systems that are all in one to check out the customers and manage reporting and inventory of your business. You should regularly backup the POS data in the cloud and get the hardware secured by insurance. Ask the vendor whether they provide theft insurance when you claim a police report. 

Every year, theft of over $13 billion of items takes place from retailers, as per the reports by NASP. Burglars who break into a retail store usually look for valuable items and cash drawers. They may not pick the whole POS terminal as it is too bulky and heavy. Some convenience stores use tablet POS, which can be easily looted and is a very costly device. 

Due to these reasons, you may want to have a sizable unit which can have faster and better software, larger screens and other features like payment processing and customer loyalty programs. A lot of vendors offer such types of systems. 

If you are using tablet POS, you may ask your insurance company if they can cover the same on their policy and ask the vendor about their damage and theft policy. It is always recommended to lock your tablet up in any secure location like your safe. Some POS systems also have the added feature of anti-theft lock so they can be useless if they get stolen. 

Manage cash the smarter way – It goes without saying thieves break in with a motive to steal hard cash. So, it is always better not to keep a whole bunch of cash in your drawer. You may use several cash drawers. Even better, you can deposit the extra cash in your bank and keep only a small amount for change. You can use a hidden drawer to keep extra cash.  Alarms and surveillance cameras can also help deter such crimes. A burglar may not want to risk his identity in a store full of cameras. 

How Cloud POS Helps in Better Management of Business?

POS has always been used for payment processing, billing, and inventory and they were not meant to stay ahead with rapidly changing scenarios. Old POS systems were not capable enough to handle complexities and changing dynamics for different customers, multiple segments, large categories of products, and to stand ahead with international giants. Modern business needs modern solutions like multiple payment options and receipt systems like credit cards, cash, mobile wallets and other options.  

Flexibility 

You can easily access your cloud POS system remotely from any device. All you need is a web browser. You can easily access your inventory at the comfort of your home or from work, from a tablet or smartphone. You don’t have to be in store all the time to manage your stock. 

Along with managing your operations in your store, you can also do it from home, which is especially important considering the current scenario. You can easily use your system on the way and sellers can move around with their device. You can get the product details on the go and it can be very flexible. This feature is widely used in restaurants as wait staff can easily process orders to the printer in the kitchen and receive payments at tables. 

No need to pay heavy upfront cost 

You can easily install your cloud POS system on your existing computer or mobile device. So, there is no need to buy a separate system and pieces of equipment. You just have to bear the subscription cost and sign in. The price of the software program varies as per the number of inventory items, vendors and cash registers.  In addition, a low monthly fee is generally required. You might be charged with a fixed amount of fee or as per charges of credit card processing. 

Personalized to Your Needs 

You can choose from different options for your cloud based POS system and choose the best for your store requirements. You can even choose the features as per your needs like loyalty programs, marketing and accounting. You can easily control your staff with a management option. An effective loyalty program can promote your business and improve profitability at the end. 

Always stay up-to-date with your business performance 

You can easily upgrade your cloud POS system as it can easily meet your business needs and track your progress. You can add additional features, product lines and stores to your POS software. You should ask your vendor about cancellation fee or any charges if you don’t want to be locked on a vendor contract for a long time. Figure out the way data is transferred from system to the cloud. If any problem persists, make sure the provider will be there to help you. You should have a stable internet connection and software. This is the best thing about cloud POS.