Merchant Account PCI Compliance Fee Explained:
What is a PCI Compliance Fee? The PCI Compliance fee, also sometimes called a “PCI DSS Compliance Fee,” is a cost that is imposed by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards Counsel (PCI DSS) onto credit card processing service providers and sales organizations. PCI DSS is an organization created and controlled by the major U.S. card networks –American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, MasterCard Worldwide, and Visa Inc. — and is responsible for overseeing and enacting data security policies regarding the card processing industry. Contrary to what merchant account providers often claim, the U.S. Government has no involvement in PCI Compliance.
PCI Compliance costs are initially incurred by merchant services providers as the sum total of the internal costs of maintaining compliance, security audit costs, and fines for breaches and non-compliance. Some of the collected fees go to PCI DSS Counsel in order to fund on-going security and fraud fighting activities. Merchant account providers often pass these costs onto merchants as annual or monthly “PCI Compliance Fees” based on their average cost per merchant account, plus a profit markup.
Critics argue that PCI Compliance fees are a scam of the payment card industry because the fees passed onto merchants are usually marked up with enormous profit margins. Additionally, they say that most processors provide no added value or services in exchange for the PCI Compliance fee and even charge it to merchants that have validated that they are compliant with PCI DSS requirements. Many call the PCI Compliance fee a form of taxation without representation.
PCI Compliance Fees may also be listed in a merchant account statement under different names, such as “Security Fee,” “Regulatory Fee,” and other similar variations.
PCI Compliance Video Explanation
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