Why Hotels Must Train Their Employees in PCI Guidelines?

Most people nowadays make their payments electronically, in fact according to Fundera, 80% of the people prefer to pay via cards when making purchases. Hospitality industry is no exception, majority of the guest when staying at a hotel want to pay either by card or digitally. Due to this, hotels need to provide proper facilities to their guests to pay using their preferred methods.

However, when accepting payments via credit or debit cards hotel also needs to make sure that the guest’s transaction is processed securely and without any risk. Hospitality industry is ranked top among the most attacked industries by the hackers, the reason being the sheer volume of transactions conducted by the industry on a daily basis. Hospitality industry is a prime target for hacking activities due to the fact that a hotel keeps card data in several different places such as POS system, PMS system, front desk, card authorization forms or any POS installed at a facility inside the hotel premises.

To ensure the security of cardholder’s data, every merchant who accepts card or digital payments has to comply by the PCI – DSS guidelines, irrespective of the number of transactions a merchant processes daily. PCI-DSS guidelines were collectively set by the biggest vendors of credit cards in the US namely Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB and Discover. These guidelines define the process of handling card and secure storage and processing of data, part of these guidelines also includes training of all the staff that handles the card and payments.

Failing to comply with these guidelines can result in severe consequences including hefty fines or barring from processing card payments. Also, failure in compliance with PCI – DSS can result in data breach of secure guest data. In a 2021 report by Verizon, it was stated that 72% of companies failed to comply with PCI – DSS year-round Verizon’s forensic team investigating PCI – DSS compliance also found that no company was fully compliant with PCI – DSS when its data was breached.

These are some of the reasons why it is vital for a hotel to ensure compliance with PCI standards:

PCI – DSS Training is Mandatory

The hotels are required to train their staff to ensure PCI guidelines while handling guests’ card and processing payments. Manager’s and other employees have to be trained separately to ensure the implementation of PCI – DSS protocols. While the employees are instructed regarding the secure processing of transactions and handling of data, managers are instructed to give limited people access to guest’ data and even that with proper credentials to ascertain liability.

PCI Compliance Protects Guest

Compliance with the PCI guidelines results in protection of guests’ data. In today’s world where cybersecurity is of paramount importance and hotels are required to provide absolutely safe and secure payment processing platforms for guests, PCI compliance can go a long way.

PCI Compliance Protects Hotel

Compliance with PCI compliance ensures that the hotels are secured against any attempts of data breach by hackers and able to identify and prevent any fraudulent transactions. In case of any data breach the hotel can limit its liability if compliant with PCI – DSS protocols.

Noncompliance With PCI has Severe Consequences

In case of noncompliance the hotels can face a fine from $5000 up to $100,000 depending on the level of noncompliance or can be barred from payment processing through credit cards which will result in a massive setback for the property. Further, hotel liable for any fraudulent activity or data breach that takes place will have to compensate customers for losses, as well as the cost of credit monitoring fees, identity theft insurance and card replacement. Furthermore, it can result in subsequent lawsuits and tarnishing of reputation.

Conclusion

The sole purpose of the PCI – DSS guidelines is to ensure the prevention of data breaches and protection of guests’ data. Compliance with simple standards is not just mandatory but also ensures a secure payment environment to execute secure transactions. By ensuring the following PCI – DSS protocols a hotel can minimize the chances of any data breach. Therefore, it is beneficial for a hotel and its guests to comply with the PCI guidelines.

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