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PCI-compliant hosting is a hosting service designed to help merchants conform to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) instituted by credit card companies. Hosting services that are designated as PCI compliant can be depended upon to meet the PCI standards under a PCI compliance audit or other assessment.
In general, merchants that process credit card transactions must comply with the PCI DSS set up by credit card companies. In some cases, merchants are audited for compliance, and auditors look at all aspects of their IT operations to make sure cardholder information is handled safely, including during transmission, processing and storage.
New hosting services such as cloud provider services that conform to the PCI DSS may designate themselves as being PCI compliant. Clients must ask vendors to prove PCI compliance to ensure that they can help them pass any audit. PCI-compliant hosting generally creates a safe and secure environment for cardholder information and a safe connection to the Internet from the consumer's browser to the company's Web server and into the cloud or anywhere else cardholder information goes.