PCI DSS plays an important role in business operations


June 14, 2012

The importance of having the correct systems in place to handle commercial payments has been discussed at a leading economic forum.

In an address to the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) on May 28, the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Glenn Stevens, has explained how various organisations have been instrumental in delivering a safe trading environment.

While in previous decades the majority of business transactions took place using written cheques and certificates, the digitisation of many accounting processes meant that entire industries were now able to interact and close sales on a faster turnaround.

However, with new developments came the need to provide regulation and balance to the transaction clearing processes.

While the larger end of the scale is governed by the Payment Systems Board (PSB), the payment card industry data security standard (PCI DSS) is used to ensure commercial enterprises are processing and storing their client’s information in a compliant manner.

Mr Stevens explained that the PSB was responsible for “the stability of financial market infrastructure” and was largely focused on high-value payments” in financial markets and the local stock exchange and currency markets, rather than daily transactions between client and business.

He went on to say that a number of developments meant that the RBA and the PSB were facing increased levels of change.

Most notably, the need to meet the “global push to strengthen financial regulation in the wake of the global financial crisis” was becoming a high priority – with investor confidence and market stability on the line.

Mr Stevens asserted: “All this means financial market activity that is important to Australia will be increasingly reliant on centralised financial market infrastructure.”

“Hence the resilience of that infrastructure will be critical, and the obligation of the official sector to provide proper oversight to ensure that resilience will correspondingly increase.”

It is easy to see how Mr Steven’s comments can also relate to smaller operations – with the systems in place at a company having a direct impact on both the capacity and image of the enterprise as a whole.

Meeting the standards set out by the PCI compliance council not only helps to protect the daily operations of a business – it also ensures that the infrastructure it has in place helps to deliver services that actively improves on client confidence.

As Mr Stevens explained: “This is a continuation of a trend that has been under way for some time, and to which we have already responded with a significant boost in the resources we devote to these issues within the Bank.”

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