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Which processor has the lowest PCI compliance fees?

This is an important question in view of the fact that PCI compliance is not optional. Visa and MasterCard are requiring that processors make sure that all card holder data is secure according to certain standards. Of course making sure all merchants under a processor are compliant is costly! Each processor is working with a third party organization to provide a compliance assessment for each merchant and issue a certificate of compliance once per year. The requirements are different depending on the type and size of the business. Some businesses will cost more to secure and others less. In order to defray the expenses, all processors are spreading these costs among all their merchants adding an additional monthly or annual fee. Some are even adding a per transaction fee to help defray the expense. So if you are a merchant who thinks that you have no annual fee and no extra monthly fees, think again. If you don’t have an annual fee you will still incur an extra charge once a year for PCI.

How much can you expect to pay? I have seen PCI fees from between $50 to $200 per year. Is it really per year? Yes. Please don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a one-time charge. Ensuring that card holder data is secure is ongoing. The people who are determined to steal card holder data do not try once and then throw in the towel. They continue to find weak spots in the system in order to make their living. As new technologies are developed, new threats will emerge that need to be secured. Additionally, it would be incorrect to assume that these PCI fees will remain constant from year to year or month to month. Even Visa and MasterCard fees typically increase two times per year. So why would this aspect be any different? It is true that no one likes PCI compliance. But we need to face the fact that it is here to stay and is part of the cost of doing business. It would be the best to make sure that a processor is truly assessing their merchants and maintaining PCI compliance. If not, the merchant would ultimately suffer much hardship in the event of security breach from their location.

What are your thoughts? Please click comment link to answer.


  1. Thanks for the explained process. I am very familiar with the entire set-up, and have done work almost identical to the ones shown.


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