Grocery & Supermarket POS PCI Compliance: 4 Basics You MUST Know

It isn't uncommon for establishments to employ security guards to ensure patrons are protected and feel safe in their stores. 

Payment card industry (PCI) compliance is like your security guard. It's designed to ensure business owners and consumers are protected when it comes to payment processing and transactions.

Nobody wants to put themselves or their customers at risk, especially concerning payment details, credit cards, and other sensitive personal information. Following PCI compliance requirements ensures you follow the correct procedures to secure your data.

When it comes to PCI compliance, there are a few basics you must know to adhere to their requirements. We're here to provide tips and basics so you can feel confident and secure in your payment processing.

POS PCI Compliance: Why You Should Care

Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance protects customers and business owners by creating security standards to ensure companies process and accept credit card information in a secure environment.

Founded by major credit card companies like AMEX, MasterCard, Visa, JCB, and Discover, the Payment Card Industry Security Standard Council (PCI SSC) was developed to manage security in the payment card industry.

PCI compliance has four levels, and you can determine where your business lands via the Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ). Each level of PCI compliance undergoes different compliance validation, with level 1 merchants going through the most rigorous process.

Violating standards or deviating from PCI compliance can lead to hefty fines and penalties. PCI compliance is a constantly evolving process designed to prevent security breaches and contribute to payment card safety worldwide. 

Customer experience doesn't start and stop in your grocery aisles, and it's essential to make sure their transactions are secure and that they're protected. Nothing will breach trust more than stolen debit or credit card information.

While platforms like IT Retail don't handle PCI compliance for you, they make it significantly easier to stay on top of software and hardware-specific requirements. 

1. Digital Security

Digital security keeps your company from being compromised, and PCI compliance works to keep the consumer and the merchant safe. Correctly configured firewalls are highly effective at keeping private information secure.

All it takes is one incident and one security breach to tarnish your store and overall brand.

If and when customers find out, you will have to deal with the legal implications and likely lose their trust and business. 

System logs must be visible in case of any suspicious activity or transactions. PCI compliance is the easiest way to stay on top of any potential lawsuit or legal penalties. You're at significant risk if you don't employ the right processes to secure this data.

2. Proper Password Security

Most routers, modems, and point of sale (POS) systems are shipped with factory settings and passwords. These passwords must be changed regularly to meet one of the PCI compliance requirements.

Changing passwords frequently makes it more difficult for potential hackers or thieves to guess your logins. Any POS software user must have an individual login so you can trace transactions and other actions tied to that user. You create a paper trail with individual logins, and if any suspicious activity is found, accountability can be enforced. 

IT Retail's POS system also enables you to set different permissions for users, so employees are only privy to data they need to see. It's crucial to restrict knowledge and visibility of important information on a need-to-know basis.

3. Software Updates & Restrictions

As much as we might like to ignore our antivirus notifications, it's important to have antivirus and malware protection on a business level. 

Viruses constantly change, and you must update your antivirus frequently to provide ample protection. This goes for firewalls and all of your systems requiring system updates. 

This is particularly why cloud-based POS systems work significantly better than legacy ones, as software updates or improvements are deployed automatically. Legacy POS systems will typically charge for maintenance or upgrades, which can be time-consuming to schedule.

4. Data Encryption

Data encryption is a form of security that ensures not just anyone can access sensitive information.

Protection Cardholder Data is the data encryption of payments and transactions, and it's required that business owners encrypt cardholder data. If your store offers free WiFi or any public network, it's especially important to ensure there are no loopholes in your security.

Even the tightest security networks have issues, so it's important to do routine checks and test your data protection. 

Protect Your Customers by Being PCI Compliant

Any establishment that processes transactions and stores private cardholder information must comply with PCI standards. With all of the requirements and processes deployed by PCI, it's the best way to protect yourself and your customers from any potential damages.

With proper protection, you can avoid attacks or data breaches, which can lead to penalties or fines between $5,000 and $500,000. 

Your responsibility is to your customers and your community, and it's important to follow the right processes and procedures to protect them. You also want to protect yourself and avoid liability regarding any breach of customer data.

An effective POS system can help you adhere to PCI compliance because of its commitment to regular updates, integrations with flexible payment options, and secure software. With features like user permissions, a POS system makes it easier to ensure compliance.

IT Retail is a great option that can provide you with an all-in-one solution for your grocery store processes. With PCI payment application data security standard certified payment processing, you can rest assured that IT Retail will make it easier for you to stay on top of your compliance.

Get in touch with us now, and we can help you protect yourself and your customers and implement efficient and effective solutions across your entire business.

Schedule a Demo