I came across an insightful interview with Bob Russo, general manager of the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (the “Council”), that was conducted by cnet news. The interview can be found here and it is a strongly suggested read.
The Council was created by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and JCB for the purpose of creating a unified compliance program for organizations accepting and processing payment card transactions. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (the “Standard”), available here, was created by the Council to deter credit card fraud. Many view these efforts as an industry-wide effort to apply uniform security practices, which largely has been the effect.
All organizations that enter into a merchant processing agreement to accept credit and payment card transactions must comply with the Standard in some manner. While the reporting requirements may be less onerous for organizations accepting payments below some fixed amount, in any event all such organizations must comply.