The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a worldwide security standard defined by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. The standard was created to help organizations that process card payments prevent credit card fraud through increased controls around data and its exposure to compromise.

PCI applies to ALL organizations or merchants, regardless of size or number of transactions, that accepts, transmits or stores any cardholder data. Said another way, if any customer of that organization ever pays the merchant directly using a credit card or debit card, then the PCI DSS requirements apply.