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Question
I got a call from a company, apparently related to our bank credit card processor talking of an annual requirement for the bank's credit card merchants.  I didn't speak with them yet.  They just left a message to call back.  Although I read of this TCI compliance online, I am still puzzled.  I wonder if this is some attempt to sell us something, or is it a legitimate call on behalf of our bank?

Answer
Art,

I apologize for the delay in responding. I never received a notification e-mail regarding your question.

PCI Compliance is an essential part of accepting credit cards as a form of payment.

That said, depending on HOW you accept credit cards, the process of becoming validated can be very simple. For example, if you use a simple stand-alone terminal with a phone line connected, you need to answer a short self-assessment questionnaire and you will become validated for one full year until you have to take the questionnaire again.

If you have a point-of-sale connected to the internet, or even a terminal connected to the internet, the process is a bit more involved and requires scans of your network every quarter to make sure you're secure.

Your current processor should have a PCI compliance program. You should not have to pay any more than $79 PER YEAR in order to conduct this assessment. Many solicitors will try to charge you several hundred dollars to become "validated". Do NOT engage them unless your current processor tells you that they are a direct partner. Even if they are, if they charge you excessive fees, negotiate that fee down as much as you can.

Let me know if you have more questions and I'll help walk you through the process. Good luck!

Sincerely,

Tom Waters
https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomaswaters

E-Commerce, Web Businesses

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Thomas Waters

Expertise

I can answer questions from business owners on how to reduce risk and cost when accepting any form of electronic payments. The Credit Card Processing industry is immense and many business owners simply do not understand how they are being billed. I have contributed to the conversion, re-engineering, set-up and integration of the credit card acceptance methods for over 1,000 clients. For almost 9 years I have seen the rise and fall of thousands of businesses of all shapes and sizes. I have knowledge and information on how to set up and run many different types of companies.

Experience

For almost 9 years, I have helped CFO's, Accountants, and Office Managers make sense of their credit card processing programs. I've worked as an electronic payments consultant for a New Jersey commercial bank. I coordinated the National Training department for a private processing firm. Currently, I am overseeing the development of a multi-tiered consultative sales force.

Organizations
Delta Sigma Pi, International Business Fraternity, Member since Fall 2004

Education/Credentials
State University of New York at Albany 2002-2006 Bachelor of Science, Information Technology Management and Marketing

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