Subscription Billing 101: PCI DSS Compliance

Subscription billing has grown in popularity in recent years and over 70% of business owners expect subscription business models to be key to commercial success in upcoming years. Although recurrent payments provide companies with a fantastic opportunity to increase sales and facilitate growth, there are regulatory issues to be aware of.

As recurring payments are invariably made by card, businesses that want to take advantage of the subscription model must adhere to the regulations set out by the payment card industry (PCI). The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) lays down the minimum requirements for compliance.

Any organization that processes card payments is required to be PCI DSS compliant, so subscription services certainly fit the criteria. While the confidential and financial information released during a card transaction clearly warrants a high level of security, the PCI DSS has been criticized for its complexity.

Understanding the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards

Issued by the PCI Security Standards Council, the DSS are designed to ensure global safety and security for cardholders. Encompassing over 300 security controls and extending to over 1,800 pages, reading the PCI DSS is not for the fainthearted.

Indeed, even establishing which elements of the PCI DSS apply to your business can be extremely challenging. Depending on the number of card transactions you complete annually and your history of data breaches, your business is characterized at a certain level according to the PCI DSS. As different levels have varying compliance requirements, it’s vital that you characterize your business accurately.

Furthermore, meeting the relevant compliance requirements is no easy fit. To ensure easy validation and auditing, companies are required to submit standardized evidence of compliance. This involves identifying the correct documentation and software, using it correcting, recording your usage in the appropriate format and submitting it within specific timeframes and via specified platforms and methods.

Due to the complexities of the PCI DSS, many businesses are wary of introducing subscription services and recurring payments. If the increased sales push them into a higher level under the PCI DSS, their compliance requirements will vary and, in all likelihood, will become more onerous.

Unfortunately, this means a significant number of enterprises are missing out on the increased revenue and commercial success that subscription services can offer.

Ensuring PCI DSS Compliance for Subscription Billing

Although it can be time-consuming and costly to introduce in-house PCI DSS compliance methods, there are other options available. When you outsource your subscription billing, for example, you can reap the benefits associated with recurring payments while avoiding the complexities of compliance.

As specialists in subscription billing, you’ll find dedicated service providers have in-depth knowledge of the relevant regulations and laws governing the PCI. This enables them to facilitate recurring payments on your behalf whilst achieving complete PCI DSS compliance.

With extensive experience in the industry, we provide outstanding subscription billing services to companies across a variety of industries. To find out how Billsby can facilitate your recurring payments and subscription services, contact us today at +1 (855) 934-0707.