In a world where technology plays a major role, it would be surprising to hear that you don’t do online transactions of any kind. If you are a merchant of any kind, then your business probably largely depends on card-based transactions.
The simple fact is that people are increasingly turning towards online shopping and you can either spend your time to find out why or to make that possible when your business is in question.
If you thought that making this possible is as easy as simply adding a payment form to your website, then you were definitely wrong. As every merchant knows by now, it takes much more than that to do things the right way. You need to pay processing fees, network fees, and a large number of other fees in order to make the system work perfectly.
Yet, there are some fees that you can absolutely avoid paying if you only do a few things right. For example, you might have already heard about the PCI compliance fee that is paid by all of those companies that fail to provide proof that their payment system is actually compliant with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (or PCI DSS). This is a fee you can certainly get rid of by simply submitting a Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) to your payment processor.
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Now, there’s no doubt that you probably have a lot of questions about SAQ, especially if you are just getting familiar with this particular term. Don’t worry if you still don’t understand it correctly. Everybody has been there. That’s why I’ll try to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the Self-Assessment Questionnaire and hopefully help you understand the whole concept better.
What Is A SAQ?
To put things simply, SAQs are a method of determining whether or not your business is in compliance with the PCI DSS regulations and rules. These function as a risk assessment tool for large credit card companies, but their purpose actually goes beyond that.
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Basically, it is a way of figuring out whether consumer information is properly protected and kept safe, which is certainly significant for all the parties involved in online transactions.
What Kind Of Questions Can You Expect?
If you are thinking of completing one of these in order to ensure that the information is kept safe and also waive that fee we mentioned above, then you are probably curious about the questions you might expect to see on the questionnaire.
Those include inquiries about the payment methods you accept while focusing on whether some third parties have access to payment systems, about the line of business you are in and the equipment you use, and similar.
Additionally, you might be asked to provide info about how often you actually update your payment systems.
Will You Need To Make A Lot Of Changes To Be Compliant?
There are many of the merchants that are probably worried that this questionnaire could show they aren’t incompliant with the rules, which will then require them to do things that they might differ in order to be compliant.
So, paying the fee is easier, right? Well, here’s the thing. Most businesses are actually compliant with these regulations by nature. All you have to do is prove it by filling out the SAQ.
Why Do You Need It?
Completing a PCI self-assessment questionnaire might seem like a tedious and irrelevant task to you, but that is certainly not correct. Doing this actually comes with a lot of benefits.
For starters, you will reduce your liability in case of data breaches. Then, you will avoid getting charged some mind-blowing penalties from the credit card industry.
And, of course, promoting data security in your company is a win for all the parties involved.
How Can You Choose The Right SAQ?
Now, it’s important to understand that there are quite a few different types of SAQs available. In fact, there are eight different forms, and not every one of those will be perfect for your particular business.
This means that you should thoroughly read about all of those forms in order to find the right one for you. It might sound confusing right now, but once you get your facts straight, you should be able to make the right choice.