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What is PCI Certified vs PCI Compliant?

Updated: Apr 20

A fully PCI certified business refers to an organization that has undergone a rigorous assessment by a qualified Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) approved assessor and has successfully met all the requirements outlined in the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Achieving full PCI certification signifies that the company has implemented all the necessary security measures and controls to protect payment card data in accordance with the PCI DSS framework.


On the other hand, being PCI compliant means that a business has implemented security measures and controls to meet the minimum requirements of the PCI DSS. While PCI compliance is an essential step towards securing payment card data, it does not guarantee complete adherence to all the requirements of the standard.


Why is this Important.


The key difference between being PCI compliant and fully PCI certified lies in the level of validation and scrutiny undergone by the organization. PCI compliance typically involves self-assessment questionnaires or external vulnerability scans, which evaluate a business's adherence to a subset of PCI DSS requirements. These assessments provide a baseline level of security, but they may not encompass the full range of controls required for comprehensive data protection.


In contrast, achieving full PCI certification involves a more comprehensive and in-depth assessment by a qualified and independent third-party assessor. This assessment includes an examination of an organization's policies, procedures, network infrastructure, security controls, and other relevant aspects to ensure compliance with all applicable PCI DSS requirements. Full PCI certification demonstrates a higher level of commitment to data security and provides assurance that the organization has implemented robust controls to protect payment card data.


The advantages of being fully PCI certified over being PCI compliant include:


Enhanced Security: Full PCI certification ensures that an organization has implemented all the necessary security measures to protect payment card data, providing a higher level of assurance and reducing the risk of data breaches.


Comprehensive Compliance: Full certification covers all aspects of the PCI DSS requirements, ensuring that the organization is fully compliant with the industry-standard security controls.


Greater Customer Confidence: Being fully PCI certified demonstrates a strong commitment to data security, fostering trust and confidence among customers who value the protection of their payment card information.


Mitigation of Risks: By meeting all the requirements of PCI DSS, a fully certified business significantly reduces the risk of financial penalties, legal liabilities, and reputational damage associated with data breaches.


Competitive Advantage: Full PCI certification sets a business apart from competitors who may only be PCI compliant, making it an attractive choice for security-conscious customers and partners.


Choosing SureCall Experts.


While PCI compliance represents a minimum level of adherence to the PCI DSS requirements, being fully PCI certified demonstrates a higher level of commitment and comprehensive implementation of security controls. SureCall Experts maintains full PCI certification and provides your organizations with greater data protection, customer trust, and a competitive edge in the marketplace.


For your data security’s sake, contact SureCall Experts






Written by Marc Bombenon – CEO of SureCall Experts

Marc has written numerous articles about Call Centres and BPO’s, as well as B Corps, mentorship, SupportHer and philanthropy. He has over 35 years of industry experience and his companies are top ranked for Excellence, Customer Satisfaction and Corporate Culture.

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