How Much Does It Cost To Be PCI Compliant?

PCI compliance is critical for all businesses. You must meet PCI compliance standards, or you will be subject to extra fees and charges. Your reputation could also be at risk if you don’t meet PCI compliance rules, especially as you’ll be liable for any data breaches that you experience.

The cost of becoming compliant can be substantial for some businesses. You could spend thousands of dollars each year to maintain your compliance. You can still save money on your compliance efforts if you use the right plans for keeping yourself under control.

General Functions You Need To Complete

Most businesses will require a few functions to be compliant. These include entities that fall in the Level 3 or 4 tier of PCI compliance. These are smaller groups that produce fewer than a million transactions each year.

Some of the requirements you’ll complete include:

  • Quarterly network scans from an Approved Scanning Vendor
  • Completion of the Annual Self-Assessment Questionnaire for PCI needs
  • Penetration testing for some of your more vulnerable segments
  • Training employees to work with PCI rules
  • Reviewing which employees hold certain roles when handling your PCI work

More massive businesses that meet the Level 1 or 2 tier will require networking systems and servers, plus a Qualified Security Assessor will complete an on-site audit that goes into more detail than a traditional network scan.

You likely won’t need to meet the more intensive Level 1 standards. Level 1 requirements entail processing at least six million card transactions each year. Service providers that support merchants and handle at least 300,000 transactions each year will also meet Level 1 rules.

What Costs Could You Expect To Spend?

The costs you’ll spend on PCI compliance will vary based on your situation, but you can expect to pay various amounts on your PCI compliance needs, including on these points:

  • Vulnerability scanning can be at least $100 for each IP address you utilize.
  • You’ll spend at least $100 in training costs for each employee you hire.
  • It costs about $50 to $100 to complete the self-assessment review each year.
  • Remediation efforts include updating your hardware and software programs. The remediation efforts can vary, but you could spend up to $10,000 to resolve any issues you hold.
  • An on-site audit will cost about $40,000, although that is more for Level 1 businesses.
  • Penetration tests cost about $15,000 on average. Penetration costs are necessary for Level 1 or 2 businesses, but Level 3 entities could use one if necessary.
  • You may hire internal resource providers to help you manage your PCI compliance needs. Level 1 or 2 tier businesses are more likely to hire these employees. They could request salaries worth at least $50,000 a year.

You could potentially spend $100,000 or more a year on PCI compliance efforts. But those in the Level 3 or 4 tier are likely going to spend less on the effort. You can review your business to see how it operates and what you should consider when reaching compliance.

More massive businesses will spend extra because they are more likely to have compliance gaps. These entities have more equipment, staff members, and processes to handle. They’re also likely to have extra cardholder data. Some of these companies will be more likely to experience breaches, as they are in the open more often and are more popular.

Your smaller entity may still spend a substantial amount of money on PCI compliance. You can review your current infrastructure and employment system to see how much you’re earning to determine what works and how you’ll manage your PCI work.

Avoiding Greater Risks

While the expenses for handling PCI compliance can be significant, the risks of not being compliant are even greater. Businesses that aren’t compliant may experience data breaches, a loss in revenue, liability costs, and the potential to be blocked from accepting certain cards. The negative reputation a business can endure when failing to be compliant can also be a threat.

You’ll be liable for any breaches that occur if you don’t meet PCI standards. Your compliance efforts can cost a good deal, but they will ensure you can shift the liability to other parties. Proper control is critical for your business success, especially when it comes to how much you might spend on different solutions of value.

Can You Save Money on PCI Compliance?

As frustrating as the expenses for maintaining PCI compliance can be, you can still save money on the effort. The totals you will save will vary surrounding your business operations and arrangement, but the work can be worthwhile if you plan what you’re doing here.

Here are a few things you can do to keep yourself from spending more than necessary:

  • Use a comprehensive PCI security system for your work needs. A merchant account provider can offer help for handling most PCI compliance efforts.
  • Check on how your business is managing its PCI needs and that you are meeting all standards that you must manage. Look at how well the business works and figure out how you’re going to improve its PCI efforts before risks can occur.
  • Use the most recent solutions for security if possible. The newest solutions will be more accurate and functional for whatever needs you will handle.
  • Figure out if you’re using any pieces of technology that you don’t require. You could be spending extra on scanning and reviewing servers and storage segments that aren’t related to your PCI efforts.
  • Your acquirer may also offer a pre-pay for service. An acquiring bank can work with a PCI vendor and pay for some merchants’ PCI compliance dues. While this is uncommon, it can help reduce the expenses businesses spend on PCI compliance efforts.

Remember that PCI compliance is a necessity for your business. While the costs for becoming compliant can be high, you should still do what you can to meet all standards for work. The risk of not meeting PCI compliance standards is too notable.

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