Even if you or your business have never interacted with PayPal, you probably have at least a passing familiarity with the online payment giant. One of the most important things you need to know for your organization, regarding PayPal, is whether or not it is PCI DSS compliant. The short answer to that question is “yes,” but as you might expect, there is more to the answer than that.

What Is PayPal and Why Is It Such an Important Part of the Online Payment Landscape?

People around the world rely on PayPal for its online payment services, which facilitate payment to all types of e-commerce companies, freelance workers and consultants, and charitable organizations. With debit and credit cards for its clients, PayPal has also become a widely known, used and accepted form of payment in the brick-and-mortar world, as well.

What Is PCI DSS and Why Is PayPal’s Compliance Important to Your Company?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), developed by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), applies to any company—of any size—that accepts credit card payments. Companies that accept these card payments receive, store, process, transmit and file sensitive customer data face tremendous dangers in the online world, thanks to the ever-increasing list of data breaches.

You may wonder exactly how PayPal’s compliance with PCI DSS might affect your business. Many business professionals are confused about this complex relationship. According to PCIComplianceGuide.org, “even accepting PayPal payments requires you to be PCI compliant.” Even though PayPal is ultimately storing, processing and transmitting the cardholder data as a merchant, your business is the one accepting that information. Basically, your computing environment has the power to affect the security of the payment process or transaction, simply by receiving that data.

None of that means that PayPal is not also expected to maintain PCI DSS compliance. Any entity that manages sensitive cardholder data must comply with PCI DSS. While PayPal bears the larger responsibility, any company associated with them must also remain compliant.

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PayPal Is Safe, Sound and PCI DSS Compliant

At Merchant Level 1, which includes any merchant that processes over 6 million Visa transactions per year, PayPal takes great measures to provide and maintain the safest possible environment to protect its more than 200 million annual customers’ confidential cardholder data. While nothing is completely risk-free, notes The Balance, PayPal uses the standards set forth by PCI SSC, including the hiring of a trusted team of Qualified Security Assessors (QSAs)—to ensure stellar PCI DSS compliance.

PayPal benefits from consistent PCI DSS compliance in the following ways:

  • Helps them identify risks in the way they store or transmit customer data
  • Sets a clear path of action when faced with data security risks
  • Ensures holding service providers and preventing them from putting data at risk
  • Shows customers that PayPal takes data security seriously

There are many other ways that PCI DSS provides a safe and security environment in which customers can feel confident when entrusting PayPal with their cardholder data.

PayPal follows standard PCI DSS compliance protocols to protect their customers and their business. They also care about associated companies and their concerns about PCI DSS compliance. PayPal has developed a PCI-compliant solution called PayFlow Link.

Are You Still Trying to Understand Your Organization’s PCI DSS Compliance Requirements?

At I.S. Partners, LLC., our experienced QSAs can help clarify any additional questions about PayPal PCI DSS compliance, as well as any related compliance issues you may face.
Call us at 215-675-1400 or request a quote to discuss the benefits, challenges and the ways that we can help with PCI DSS compliance.

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