Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance Policy

Name: PCI DSS stand for Payment card Industry Data Security Standard and is a worldwide security standard assembled by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC).

Purpose: The PCI DSS, a set of comprehensive requirements for enhancing payment account data security, was developed by the founding payment brands of the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). The PCI SSC is responsible for managing the security standards, while compliance with the PCI set of standards is enforced by the founding members of the Council: American Express, Discover Financial Services, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa Inc.

PCI DSS includes technical and operational requirements for security management, policies, procedures, network architecture, software design and other critical protective measures to prevent credit card fraud, hacking and various other security vulnerabilities and threats. The standards apply to all organizations that store, process or transmit cardholder data.

Reason for the Policy: The standards are designed to protect cardholder information of patrons that utilize a credit card to transact business with CALS. This policy is intended to be used in conjunction with the complete PCI-DSS requirements as established and revised by the PCI Security Standards Council.

Entities Affected by this Policy: All departments that collect, maintain or have access to credit card information must comply with PCI policy. These currently include:

  • All Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) Branches and Departments

Who Should Read this Policy: All persons who have access to credit card information, including:

  • Every employee that accesses handles or maintains credit card information. CALS employees include full-, part-time and temporary staff members
  • CNS staff responsible for scanning CALS’s system to ensure no credit card numbers are stored electronically.


Merchant Account – A relationship between CALS and a bank in order to accept credit card transactions. The merchant account is tied to a general ledger account to distribute funds appropriately to the organization (owner) for which the account was set up.

Coordinator – CALS official who has oversight responsibility for the regulation/standard. Regulation monitors stay abreast of updates to their respective regulations, ensure policies are up to date and notify CNS about changes.

Credit Card Data – Full magnetic strip or the PAN (Primary Account Number) plus any of the following:

  • Cardholder name
  • Expiration date
  • Service Code

PCI-DSS – Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard

PCI Security Standards Council – The security standards council defines credentials and qualifications for assessors and vendors as well as maintaining the PCI-DSS.

Self-Assessment – The PCI Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) is a validation tool that is primarily used by merchants to demonstrate compliance to the PCI DSS.

PAN – Primary Account Number is the payment card number (credit or debit) that identifies the issuer and the particular cardholder account. It is also called Account Number.

Overview: Credit card companies and financial institutions validate that vendors (CALS) are rated based on their volume of transactions. The rating that a company receives determines the process that they must go through in order to be validated. There are four levels of PCI Compliance, with level 1 being the most stringent and level 4 being the least stringent. If a merchant suffers an attack that has caused account data to be compromised, the merchant level requirement goes up to level 1 automatically. Based on the number of credit card transactions processed annually across CALS locations (less than 20K per year), and the fact that CALS has not experienced a breach, CALS would be classified as a Level 4.

CALS policy prohibits the storing of any credit card information in an electronic format on any computer, server or database including Excel spreadsheets. It further prohibits the emailing of credit card information. Based on this policy, compliance with a number of the PCI Compliance requirements do not apply. The following list communicates the full scope of the compliance requirements but based on CALS policy that prohibits storing of credit card information electronically and utilizing third-party vendors for web-based credit card processing, some may not be relevant.


  • Build and Maintain a Secure Network
  • Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program
  • Implement Strong Access Control Measures
  • Regularly Monitor and Test Networks
  • Maintain an Information Security Policy
  • Ensure Third Party Compliance
  • Training


  • Complete an annual self-assessment
  • Perform a quarterly Network scan

Without adherence to the PCI-DSS standards, CALS would be in a position of unnecessary reputational risk and financial liability. Merchant account holders who fail to comply are subject to:

  • Any fines imposed by the payment card industry
  • Any additional monetary costs associated with remediation, assessment, forensic analysis or legal fees
  • Suspension of the merchant account.


CALS requires compliance with PCI standards. To achieve compliance, the following requirements must be met by departments accepting credit cards to process payments on behalf of CALS.

General Requirements

  • Credit card merchant accounts must be approved by CALS management.
  • Management and employees must be familiar with and adhere to the PCI-DSS requirements of the PCI Security Standards Council.
  • Management in departments accepting credit cards must conduct an annual self-assessment against the requirements and report results to the Coordinator. All employees involved in processing credit card payments sign a statement that they have read, understood, and agree to adhere to Information Security policies of CALS and this policy.
  • Any proposal for a new process (electronic or paper) related to the storage, transmission or processing of credit card data must be brought to the attention of and be approved by CALS management.

Storage and Disposal

  • Credit card information must NOT be entered/stored on CALS network servers, workstations, or laptops.
  • Credit card information must NOT be transmitted via email.
  • Web payments must be processed using a PCI-compliant service provider approved by the CALS management. Credit card numbers must NOT be entered into a web page of a server hosted on the CALS network.
  • Although electronic storage of credit card data is prohibited by this policy, CALS will perform a quarterly Network scan to ensure that the policy has not been violated.
  • Any paper documents containing credit card information should be limited to only information required to transact business, only those individuals who have a business need to have access, should be in a secure location, and must be destroyed via approved methods once business needs no longer require retention.
  • All credit card processing machines must be programmed to printout only the last four or first six characters of a credit card number.
  • Securely dispose of sensitive cardholder data when no longer needed for reconciliation, business or legal purposes. In no instance shall this exceed four years. Secured destruction must be via shredding either in house or with a third-party provider with certificate of disposal.
  • Neither the full contents of any track for the magnetic strip nor the three-digit card validation code may be stored in a database, log file, or point of sale product.

Third Party Vendors (Processors, Software Providers, Payment Gateways, or Other Service Providers)

  • CALS management must approve each merchant bank or processing contact of any third-party vendor that is engage in, or propose to engage in, the processing or storage of transaction data on behalf of CALS—regardless of the manner or duration of such activities.
  • Ensure that all third-party vendors adhere to all rules and regulations governing cardholder information security.
  • Contractually require that all third parties involved in credit card transactions meet all PCI security standards, and that they provide proof of compliance and efforts at maintaining ongoing compliance.


  • The Coordinator will notify each department head of the timeline to complete and submit the annual assessment.
  • The PCI-DSS Self-Assessment Questionnaire must be completed by the merchant account owner annually and anytime a credit card related system or process changes. This assessment is the responsibility of the head of the department approved to accept credit cards.


  • Ongoing training programs must be offered to train employees on PCI DSS and importance of compliance.

Responsible Organization/Party: CALS management shall serve as the Coordinator of the policy which includes responsibility for notifying the Information Security Officer, applicable Department Heads and Data Managers about changes to the policy.

Enforcement: The Information Security Officer will oversee enforcement of the policy. Additionally, this individual will investigate any reported violations of this policy, lead investigations about credit card security breaches and may terminate access to protected information of any users who fail to comply with the policy.

Additional Resources

Policy Information

Board Policy #205
Board Approval: 08/26/2010
Revision: 07/25/19