Did you know that there are four levels of Payment Card Industry Compliance? These levels depend on the merchant’s number of transactions. And non-compliance to this can mean hundreds or thousands of dollars.

According to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), a “Level 1” merchant handles at least 1 million, 2.5 million, or 6 million transactions each year, depending on which credit cards the merchant accepts. It is the most rigorous and highest standard of the PCI DSS. 

Read on to find out more about PCI Level 1 Compliance, its criteria, how you can comply, an easy way to comply, and more.

What is PCI Level 1 Compliance?

The highest level of PCI DSS compliance is Level 1. Any business that processes more than 6 million Visa transactions a year falls into this category. This high degree of validation is only granted at Visa's discretion if the merchant meets the level 1 conditions to reduce system risk.

The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) established compliance levels in response to the fact that the volume of payment card transactions increases the security risks to retailers, service providers, and their credit card records.

The smaller the purchase volume, the lower the level–and the fewer work companies must perform to comply with PCI.

PCI Level 1 Criteria

The payment card or credit card brands accepted by the dealer determine the conditions for merchant Level 1.

● According to Visa, Mastercard, and Discover, merchants who handle more than 6 million credit card purchases a year are Level 1.

● According to American Express, the minimum for Level 1 is 2.5 million transactions a year.

●  For JCB, it starts with 1 million credit-card transactions a year.

Payment and internet service providers (ISPs) must also show ongoing and continuous security of their cardholder environment against data breaches to accept payment cards.

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