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PCI Compliance – Why It’s a Requirement for Schools Accepting Credit Cards

What is PCI Compliance?

PCI compliance refers to meeting PCI DSS standards. PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

Prior to 2004, the five largest payment card companies (American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard and Visa) had their own security standards.  In 2004, these standards were harmonized into one set of rules called the PCI DSS, a set of operating procedures to help keep payment cards secure.

How PCI Compliance Affects Independent Schools

When any department of a school begins to accept payment cards—credit or debit, online or in person—the school must agree to comply with the PCI DSS standard.  This is a payment card industry requirement and is stated in the terms and conditions of every merchant agreement.  If a school does not become PCI compliant, it risks fines, audits, and/or losing its ability to process card payments per industry regulations.

For many schools, understanding PCI DSS is confusing.  Many don’t know what it takes to achieve or maintain compliance, and few have a culture of PCI awareness.  Schools need comprehensive information about PCI DSS rules and guidance in implementing and maintaining them.

Achieving and Maintaining Compliance

When a school engages Diamond Mind as their payment processor, we pre-register the school with Trustwave’s TrustKeeper PCI Manager as part of our business services package.  TrustKeeper is the industry’s leading data security and compliance certification program.  It will guide you through the PCI DSS compliance process and provide thorough information and resources.

For more information getting started with your PCI compliance journey, view the following Trustwave webinar:

PCI 101:  Getting Started With PCI DSS 

This webinar will walk you through the basics of getting started with Trustwave and help you better understand PCI and the necessary steps for compliance.

To learn more about payment services for independent schools, reach out to a school payment services expert by contacting Diamond Mind at 888 566-0945 x777 or