Understanding Payment Processing Security Terms

Updated on November 22, 2021

payment processing

In 2014 there were over 58 million records stolen by swiping credit/debit cards in retail stores. Obviously you want your payment processing to be secure, however the business owner or merchant plays a big part in the payment processing. Are you doing your part and do you understand the lingo and security terms?


(PCI DSS) Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard was formed by the major card brands Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB to create an additional level of protection ensuring that merchants meet minimum levels of security when they store, process and transmit cardholder data. For a complete list of PCI security term definitions visit: https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/pdfs/pci_dss_glossary_v1-1.pdf

PCI Compliance

There are four levels merchants fall into that is based on Visa transaction volume over a twelve month period.

Level 1: All merchants that process over 6M Visa transactions per year. Visa at its own discretion can determine who should meet level 1 requirements to minimize risk to the Visa security system.

Level 2: All merchants that process between 1M-6M Visa transactions per year.

Level 3: All E-commerce merchants processing between 20K-1M Visa transactions per year.

Level 4: All merchants processing less than 20K up to 1M Visa transactions per year.

Small to medium sized businesses must at a minimum complete the (SAQ) Self-Assessment Questionnaire. Once completed businesses must provide evidence in the form of a certificate or form provided by your processor or Merchant Service Provider. BestofCategoryReviews can provide you with a list of award winning Merchant Service Providers that can help you with lower rates and any PCI Compliance information needed. To find a more complete list of PCI Compliance terms, visit: https://www.pcicomplianceguide.org/pci-faqs-2/#1


The SAQ is for merchants and service providers that are not required to endure an on-site data security assessment regulated by the PCI DSS Security Assessment Program. Every SAQ entails a series of yes or no questions about your security and practices while accepting credit cards. To find more information regarding SAQ visit: https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/merchants/self_assessment_form.php


Malware is a malicious software that can damage your computer with spyware and viruses. These type of programs can stop your computer from working, delete files, steal passwords and even collect personal information. Experts recommend anti-malware which can protect you from the malware installing itself.

It is important that businesses and individuals protect themselves because stats show that over 31% of the world’s computers have some type of malware installed. To find out more about the purpose, history of malware visit http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malware


Point-to-Point Encryption is a must if you’re computer has been infected with malware. This combination of hardware and software is so far the only way to stop malware from working properly. This keeps the data encrypted when the card is swiped through a stand-alone or POS terminal. While going through the process it gets decrypted making it unreadable. To find out the answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding P2PE visit https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/documents/P2PE_v1_1_FAQs_Aug2012.pdfhigh-risk-sm

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