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The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a standard set up by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council in order to protect financial data during transactions. This security standard is managed by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB, and applies to the card operations revolving around these companies’ products.
Since 2006, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council has been trying to increase security around credit card data to reduce credit card fraud. Over time, various programs led to the evolution of security standards requiring certain types of compliance for merchant operations. These requirements include a secure network using firewalls or other tools, encryption of cardholder data, proper maintenance of IT systems, unique identifiers for users, and other key standards that cut down on the vulnerability of financial data.