Keeping a close eye on PCI Fees

Companies focused on expenses may wonder what PCI fees entail

Whether they are working with domestic-based merchant accounts or offshore merchant accounts, e-commerce businesses need to keep on top of the money they spend to maintain these financial tools. Enabling an online payment gateway comes with a number of costs, some of which may not be immediately clear.

Expenses related to payment card industry regulations, normally called PCI fees or PCI compliance fees, can be some of the most confusing for merchants. However, experts express the importance of understanding and monitoring PCI fees regularly.

What are PCI fees?

These payments are normally given only to businesses that have failed to remain compliant with PCI regulations, primarily those listed under the PCI Data Storage Standards. The PCI Security Standard Council determines these regulations. The rules are in place mostly to ensure consumer protection and limit credit card fraud.

However, experts note that even businesses that are fully compliant might be charged PCI fees, either monthly or annually. That's because merchant account providers and payment processors will sometimes pass the cost of remaining compliant down to the business. While it is reasonable that providers would do that, some merchants remain concerned that they are unfairly paying too much in fees.

Keeping the fees manageable

While it's likely merchants will encounter PCI fees with almost any merchant account provider, there are ways for them to feel comfortable with what they are paying. Experts suggest first that businesses remain communicative with their merchant account manager, who can explain exactly what those fees pay for.

Additionally, companies are advised to work with a payment processor that provides the best service and limits their risk of non-compliance. Many times, paying a fair price for PCI fees can be worthwhile if it means companies aren't liable to flouting the PCI Security Standard Council's rules.