Through the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) Program, major payment card companies created unified security criteria to safeguard cardholder information during financial transactions in all commerce channels. For furniture retailers, one important step to comply with the program is choosing a Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) certified furniture software suite.
The PA-DSS is a set of requirements that help software providers develop secure payment applications. As checked by a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA), products must not retain full magnetic stripe, card validation code or value, or PIN block data. Compliant systems should also offer secure authentication features, encrypt sensitive traffic over public networks and non-console administrative access, and guarantee other security measures.
For further protection, reliable software for furniture retail stores may also feature applications that secure transactions through detailed permission settings. This provides storeowners or managers better control over who can approve credit holds, enter finance payments, and access payment classes, among other sensitive financial processes. They can also audit and track user actions and application processes to easily determine any suspicious activity.
Choosing software providers that are not PA-DSS certified or non-compliant with the PCI DSS can have damaging effects to a retailer’s business. Payment applications will not be secure and data can easily be compromised, leading to loss or disclosure of data, including cardholder information.
The consequences of data breaches can include direct costs for customer service support, customer incentives, and restitution. A furniture retail store can also lose sales opportunities from current and future customers. Moreover, they may become liable for costly fines and litigation for failing to adequately protect their customers’ data.
By choosing a software provider that follows security standards approved by major bank and card companies and offers application settings that provide more security, retailers are assured that payment card information is safe from data breaches and other threats during financial transactions. This helps gain customer trust and confidence, and will continue to improve their system and protect against security breaches, as PCI DSS compliance is not a one-time event, but an ongoing process.
Most financial institutions also require software solutions that are PA-DSS compliant. In fact, they can disable payment card processing for retailers that use non-compliant software or systems, and prevent the business from future credit or debit card transactions.
As retailers need to continuously assess their operations, fix identified vulnerabilities, and report to partner financial institutions in order to comply with the PCI DSS, they should understand the value of choosing a PA-DSS certified software provider to ensure data safety and financial transactions, as part of providing better customer service.