The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance is a set of specific security standards developed by the payment brands** to help promote the adoption of consistent data security measures that are needed to protect sensitive payment-card information. The standard applies to all organizations which hold, process, or exchange cardholder information from any card branded with the logo of the payment brand companies.
Simply stated, the basis of PCI DSS compliance is that merchants must demonstrate through representative systems and processes that they meet these requirements. It is the merchants' responsibility to achieve, demonstrate and maintain their compliance across all systems and processes in their organizations.
**Payment brand companies include American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa Inc. International.