Who Investigates Credit Card Processors

Most merchants might not know this, but processing one credit card payment requires multiple data transfers between different institutions. Typical transactions involve processors, card networks, acquiring banks, and issuing banks. This system combats data breaches. With cybersecurity attacks transpiring every 39 seconds, security should be the top priority.

To ensure that merchants and cardholders stay safe when processing payments, several institutions regulate credit card processors. Processors must follow the rules set by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), Card Association Network, National Automated Clearing House (NACHA), and the federal government.

Agencies That Investigate and Monitor Credit Card Processors

Each organization has a particular function and implements a specific set of guidelines, although they all strive to process payments more securely:

  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS): The PCI DSS consists of major card networks like Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and Discover. Their main goal is to ensure uniformity across all transactions.
  • Card Association Network (CAN): These refer to the card networks behind card-issuing banks. In most cases, merchants can only work with CANs through their service providers.
  • Federal and State Government Bodies: Some states might have specific guidelines on credit fees, surcharging, and penalty payments.
  • National Automated Clearing House (NACHA): NACHA oversees all transactions occurring within the ACH network.

Never risk your POS system for cheap rates. Secure payment processing might have a steep price tag, but the certainty they provide is priceless. Losing the credit card information of just 100 customers could already set your business back by nearly $20,000.

As a general rule, only work with processors certified by the institutions we mentioned above. They should have some form of certification document. 

How do you become a high-risk merchant? At Processing Card, we help various businesses qualify for merchant solutions, regardless of their industry type. Check out our piece on the legalities of operating as a high-risk merchant.

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