Did Visa Pad Their PCI Numbers?

Apr 09, 2015

Do merchant acquirers pad their Payment Card Industry (PCI) numbers? A new Merchant Acquirers’ Committee study shows that PCI compliance numbers by many of the largest merchants in the United States are far lower than numbers reported by Visa Inc. The PCI Security Standards Council provides a long list of data-protection rules that merchants who utilize general credit and debit cards have to comply with, however the card networks must enforce the security measures.

Visa and MasterCard Inc. must delegate responsibility to their merchants to meet PCI standards. Last June, Visa reported compliance rates at a much higher rate than the MAC study. Visa showed compliance validation at an estimated 450 Level 1 merchants at 97%. To become a Level 1 retailer, a company must create more than 6 million Visa transactions annually.

The Visa report also stated that compliance validation for about 972 Level 2 merchants were at 88%. This level of merchant processes 1 million to 6 million Visa transactions every year. Unfortunately, the MAC study revealed some different results. Their study estimates that Level 1 merchants’ compliance was only 67% and Level 2 merchant compliance was at around 69%.

What could account for the differences in the numbers? Data-security experts state that differences can arise because networks rely too heavily on acquirer reports. It is suggested that acquirers may pad the numbers to avoid being penalized by networks.

In addition, experts think that many of the PCI structures are vague. For example, a merchant may not fulfill all 200 PCI requirements, but may only represent a low security risk so the acquirer may report the merchant as compliant. Visa representatives are not available to make comments about the disparities between their reports and the MAC reports.

Today high risk companies, like help desk merchants, must use companies like Visa and MasterCard in order to be successful. eMerchantBroker.com is a low hassle, low cost payment processor that will monitor your help desk merchant account with expertise. Our agents will protect your transactions and increase your profits.

Let us help you get a high risk merchant account today!

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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