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The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI Security Standards Council or PCI SSC) is an open global forum, launched in 2006, that is responsible for the development, management, education, and awareness of the PCI Security Standards, including the Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS), and PIN Transaction Security (PTS) Requirements. Any merchant that accepts credit or debit cards for payment is required to secure their data based on these standards. Noncompliance may lead to lawsuits, cancelled accounts, and monetary fines.
The Council's five founding global payment brands &mdashl American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, MasterCard Worldwide, and Visa Inc. — have agreed to incorporate the PCI DSS as the technical requirements of each of their data security compliance programs. Each founding member also recognizes the QSAs, PA-QSAs and ASVs certified by the PCI Security Standards Council.
All five payment brands share equally in the Council's governance, have equal input into the Council and share responsibility for carrying out the work of the organization. Other industry stakeholders are encouraged to join the Council as Participating Organizations and review proposed additions or modifications to the standards.