PCI Compliance is not the most glamorous topic, but a PCI breach can be detrimental to your business. And beyond the glamour and dazzle of financial acronyms … do lawyers really have to even worry about PCI compliance (whatever that means)?
Much like the ethical regulations you’re required to follow as a lawyer, banks and financial firms have similar guidelines in place to protect consumers. When accepting credit cards, putting compliance first is an essential part of running a safe, smart business — including your law practice! In this post you’ll learn:
- What PCI Compliance is
- Why your law firm needs to be PCI compliant
- How to manage a PCI compliant firm
What is PCI Compliance?
PCI Compliance is a set of industry standards developed by credit card companies (Visa, Mastercard, etc.) to protect the capital of their cardholders. The standards range from restricting physical access to cardholder data to encrypting transmission of cardholder data across public networks. When followed, these industry rules help prevent credit card fraud.
If you work for or own a small law firm, this is probably where you start to tune out. You might think PCI compliance is a waste of your time or that it’s simply not relevant to you. But as a small business, you’re held to the same compliance standards as companies like Target and Neiman Marcus.
Does My Law Firm Have to Be PCI Compliant?
The short answer? Yes.
Your firm must either avoid storing credit card information altogether by using a payment processing option (like MyCase Payments!) that makes that possible or face the burden of complying with strict standards to protect that information.
Why do the credit cards companies care about what your firm does with your client’s credit card information? Simply put: by creating this set of standards, credit card companies can shift liability for fraudulent activity to your law firm in the event of your non-compliance. In other words, risk can be transferred to the businesses that choose to accept credit card payments but fail to be PCI compliant. The credit card companies aren’t the only ones with a stake in the game — your bank wants to make sure your law firm is PCI compliant as well, since they could also end up footing the bill for fraud.
The consequences for lack of compliance can range from hefty monthly fees to loss of reputation, possible civil litigation should there be a data breach, and suspension of your ability to accept credit cards.
PCI Compliance for Small Law Firms
Feeling bereft? You’re not alone. Many solo and small practice attorneys view PCI Compliance as daunting, if not impossible, and would rather pay significant monthly fees than change their law firm’s processes to protect client information. But is that the best way to deal with this issue?
For MyCase customers, there’s a better option. If you use MyCase, you know that our mission is to both enable your firm to run as smoothly as possible and help you provide your clients with the best experience possible. The number one way we do this is by making online payments secure. When you accept a client payment through the MyCase Client Portal, you provide your client with the highest level of PCI compliance without paying any extra fees or putting their credit card information at risk.
With new security vulnerabilities constantly emerging, MyCase provides the most secure method of credit card payment using 2-factor authentication and the same level of encryption authorized for storage of top secret military information. The actual credit card information is never stored and when a payment occurs, the transaction is automatically authenticated and processed within milliseconds.
So if you’re a MyCase customer, you can rest easy knowing that when you accept a credit card using MyCase Payments, your client’s credit card information is not in your possession and can’t be accessed, while providing your clients with the easiest, fastest form of payment. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Already a part of the MyCase family? It’s easy to set up online payments —get started today!
Not a MyCase User? Start your free MyCase trial today!