The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is an established information security standard which applies to any organization involved in the processing, transmission, and storage of credit card information. Created and overseen by an independent agency, the PCI Security Standards Counc il (PCI SSC), PCI DSS is designed to improve the security of payment card transactions and to reduce credit card fraud.
The PCI SSC was founded in 2006 as a joint venture between the five largest payment card brands (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and JCB). Its goal was to create a clear and interoperable set of standards for protecting consumer information. Although the SSC does not enforce compliance itself, the PCI DSS is now widely accepted and applies to all organizations dealing with credit, debit, or cash card information, regardless of size or industry.