Payment Processing

PCI Compliance in 2021: What Businesses Need to Know about Payment Security

Moe Tassoudji
VP of North American eCommerce

If you accept payments for your business, you understand on some level the need for payment security. You know you need to protect your customers' payment information as a top priority. This is a start, but the devil is always in the details. The very first step you must do, if you accept and process card information, is to be PCI complaint. Understanding and implementing that standard is the key to your payment security needs.

What Is PCI DSS?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) was first developed in 2006. The five major credit card companies developed the standard to help prevent data breaches from affecting banks and customers alike. While there is no formal certification, the process comes with a self-assessment questionnaire that you can use to help demonstrate that you are in compliance.

Four Levels of Compliance

Your expectations for compliance differ depending on your number of annual transactions. These break down as follows:

  • Level 1: Over 6 million transactions processed per year
  • Level 2: Between 1 million and 6 million transactions processed per year
  • Level 3: Between 20,000 and 1 million transactions processed per year
  • Level 4: Under 20,000 transactions processed per year

The demands are more rigorous for those businesses that have more payment transactions. Still, there is no level of sales at which you do not need to maintain PCI DSS compliance. No matter which size of business you operate in, protecting your business from the potential loss of valuable information and preserving your customers’ trust should always be a priority.

Maintaining your business’ PCI (Payment Card Industry) Compliance should be taken very seriously. Protecting your business from the potential loss of valuable information and preserving your customers’ trust should always be a priority.

The Standards Are Not Static

Whether or not you jump a category, you cannot assume compliance at one time means compliance for all time. New threats emerge, and new protocols arrive to fight those threats. This can mean downloading patches for developing and maintaining secure systems and applications from time to time as they become available, but the PCI DSS standards themselves change over time. In fact, industry experts expect some broad changes to arrive this year. If you don't adjust to what comes, you can fall behind quickly.

Costs of Non-Compliance

Non-compliance brings fines and sometimes suspensions from the major card brands. If you are not protecting data, there is simply too much to lose. Even beyond being able to accept certain cards, a single breach or loss can create devastating consequences for your reputation. Maintaining security is critical to not only protecting your customers but keeping them.

Simplify PCI Compliance with Descoping

There are many ways that Nuvei protects your eCommerce business from potential fraud, and assists with PCI descoping. What's more, solutions are custom tailored for a business' unique needs. Our knowledgeable, flexible teams help you navigate the compliance waters so that you arrive on the other side of the lake unscathed. Accept all payment types knowing you have the highest level of card processing fraud detection and prevention available.

Built-in Fraud Detection

Maximize revenue while detecting fraud? It's simple with Nuvei. Rest easy with our integrated risk management solution.

Our advanced decisioning platform helps prevent online fraud before it can happen. Best of all, it’s built right into our payment gateway – no third party solution is required. Safer, smarter payments are here.

  • Tracks and monitors customer activity through the entire site across multiple devices
  • Within seconds of a payment, a Risk Score is given to every transaction to determine the likelihood of fraud
  • Works entirely in the background and will not interrupt customer shopping experience


Tokenization is a data security method that replaces credit card information with a token – a random value that retains the card’s essential information without compromising security. With Nuvei, merchants can safely process transactions while reducing the risk of having sensitive data fall into the wrong hands.

Our tokenization technology provides access to billing data without needing to store credit card information. This is especially useful for recurring or subscription billing. Each token is linked to a unique customer profile and can be used to complete a purchase transaction.

Security Extensions

We also provide seamless, plug and play connectivity with common third-party security extensions, including 3-D Secure, Address Verification Service (AVS), and Card Verification Value (CVV).

Hosted Payment Pages

Another way that Nuvei removes a merchant from PCI scope is by way of its Hosted Payment Page (HPP). This is a ready-to-use checkout solution, designed for businesses that don't have the time or resources to code. It is proven to optimize payment journeys with its in-built tools including comprehensive reporting, risk management, compliance, and more. It is the quickest, simplest way to merchant onboarding and merchant satisfaction.


Our Web SDK is a client-side code library that merchants can embed into their own payment page as required. It offers partners end-to-end payment processing and full Nuvei support, exactly as they want it. Ease of integration? Check! Our advanced APIs and SDKs make it easy to quickly integrate and get started processing payments across all channels. Complete PCI descoping is just one additional benefit.

Your Processing Partner's Role

Fortunately, you don't have to go it alone. Partnering with an experienced payment processing provider can help you protect your customers and maintain compliance through that provider’s products and practices.

Rather than going it alone, you should work with a trusted partner on your compliance needs. PCI compliance is neither something to learn as you go nor something to leave to chance. Line up your resources early so you can stay ahead of the security curve.

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Moe Tassoudji
VP of North American eCommerce
Moe is Nuvei's VP of North American eCommerce. He has over 15 years of experience in credit card and ACH payment processing and was previously COO of a boutique payments company, helping merchants transact globally.

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