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Your Answering Service and PCI Compliance

If your answering service handles your credit card information or takes payment info from your callers then you need to make sure they are PCI compliant. Here’s what you need to know about your answering service and PCI compliance…

This is a picture of one person standing by a whiteboard teaching three people who are sitting down about answering service PCI compliance

Many of us have at least heard of PCI compliance. It involves protecting credit card information. But what is PCI compliance really all about and how does it involve your answering service?

PCI DSS, the much easier to use acronym for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, is the standard designed to protect your credit card data when it is being transmitted or stored.  Any time you use your debit or credit card to pay for something, you need to be confident that the merchant or service provider you are doing business with is taking reasonable measures to protect your information.

If you use your card  to pay your answering service bills, it is important to know that they are also PCI compliant.  Furthermore, if your company uses a call center to facilitate order taking from your customers for products or services, you want to be absolutely positive that your call center is in complete compliance with PCI DSS. If your live support provider is not PCI compliant then not only are you at a greater risk of being compromised, but you are also more likely to be in violation of putting your customer’s information at risk.

Typically, businesses and merchants accepting credit card information fill out an annual form, giving specific information as to the security protocols in place, knowing that they may be audited at any time.  They run the risk of getting slapped with large fines and sanctions if they are found to have falsified their disclosures.

The size of the company, the type of credit card transactions processed, and the quantity and value of those transactions will dictate what type of assurance the company must prove/provide to meet PCI DSS compliance requirements.

So how do you know if your answering service is PCI compliant? It would be perfectly acceptable to ask! Go ahead, ask when the last time they updated their compliance information was, ask what measures they take to protect your credit card, and ask how they keep your customer’s information safe. Ask questions about their operational guidelines until you are satisfied your info is secure. If you don’t get a good feeling from their responses, it may be time to switch to another answering service that takes PCI compliance more seriously.

Call your answering service and call center representative to ask them about PCI compliance today.  It’s that simple.  And that serious.

Carry on, carry over…

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Sound Telecom is a leading nationwide provider of telephone answering, call center and unified communication services.  It’s friendly, courteous, and professional staff represents your company the way you want it represented, with your messaging, your branding, and your mission.

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