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Reasons to Start PCI DSS Audit Right Now



Author Bio: Narendra Sahoo is a director of VISTA InfoSec.



The purpose of conducting a PCI DSS Audit is to validate the organization’s effectiveness of controls and implementations relating to the PCI DSS Requirements. With the recent update in the PCI DSS Compliance requirements from version 3.2.1 to 4.0, the need for conducting a PCI DSS Audit has now become all the more essential for organizations.  The PCI DSS 4.0 version released on March 2022 and is said to go effective by March 2025. So, although the 3.2.1 version will remain valid and active through 2024, yet organizations are expected to prepare for the updated version through the transition phase and implement requirements as per the PCI DSS 4.0 by March 2025. For these reasons and more, we believe performing PCI Audit is essential. Covering more on this, we have today listed reasons why a business should start their PCI DSS Audit right away.

Top 5 Reasons to Start PCI DSS Audit Right Now

PCI DSS Audit is required for organizations dealing (processing, storing, transmitting) with payment card data. The Audit evaluates and validates the organization’s adherence to PCI DSS Requirements and highlights gaps in compliance. Not just that, there are several other benefits of undergoing a PCI DSS Audit that is discussed below.

1.  Necessity for Merchants & Service Providers

PCI DSS Compliance and audit(  is a necessity for all businesses dealing with payment card data. All Merchants and Service Providers that deal with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and JCB cards are required to comply with various security levels outlined in the PCI DSS Compliance. The PCI DSS Level 1 is the highest level of standard which is mandatory for all those companies that store card data in their systems and for all those companies that provide services as service providers. Here it is important to note and understand that the secure card storage is only allowed by those companies having PCI DSS Level 1 compliance or if the service is received from a service provider compliant with the standard.

2. Support the Transition of PCI DSS 4.0 Compliance

One of the major reasons for organizations to undergo a PCI DSS Audit is to evaluate their compliance status with the updated version of PCI DSS 4.0 Compliance. Although you are maybe compliant with the earlier version 3.2.1, yet ensuring that your organization now prepares for the updated version is essential in the transition phase, before the latest version goes effective in 2025. To begin with, the organization must first undergo a readiness assessment before undergoing the final audit. This is to ensure that your organization’s efforts towards compliance are in alignment with the requirements of PCI DSS 4.0. Further, this will help your organization in developing a more effective compliance strategy based on the identified gaps during the audit process.

3. Places Security First

PCI DSS compliance ensures that your organization has taken all measures to secure payment data transactions and processes online. Further, the compliance audit validates the effectiveness of multiple layers of security implemented. The audit prioritizes and enforces the highest level of security for the overall IT Infrastructure, especially in alignment with the current security threats in the industry. So, this way conducting a PCI DSS Audit keeps a check on the security measures while also ensuring that the PCI requirements are met.

4. Limits the Incident of Data Breach

As per Verizon’s 10 years of investigation and reporting on PCI DSS compliance, most of the companies that faced data breach were non-compliant. Non-compliance to PCI DSS has been a major reason for data breach. PCI DSS Audit and compliance ensures that organizations take all the possible security measures to protect sensitive customer data. The compliance process makes the organization accountable for the security of sensitive payment data. So, establishing strong cybersecurity measures through a systematic implementation of PCI requirements goes a long way in limiting the incident of data breach. Achieving compliance and implementing appropriate security measures will make it hard for hackers to hack into the network and steal data, thereby preventing the possibility of a breach or an unforeseen incident.

5. Meet Global Standards

PCI DSS Compliance is a standard and framework developed by the top 5 world’s leading credit card brands to set a standard for the protection of consumer’s payment data. It is an international standard and framework for protecting payment card data that ensures merchants meet a minimum level of security when dealing with cardholder data. The standard provides a framework for organizations to implement the highest security measures and establish the best security practice for protecting sensitive data and systems. Achieving PCI compliance allows your organization to be placed among other international retailers and businesses committed to data security standards and protecting consumers. So, achieving PCI DSS Compliance will definitely raise the security standard benchmark and allow organizations to compete at the international level.

6. Baseline for other Regulations 

Achieving PCI DSS compliance means your organization has taken necessary measures to protect customer data. Further, implementing and establishing the PCI DSS framework sets a baseline framework to achieve other international security standards and frameworks for protecting sensitive data. For instance implementing PCI DSS security requirement will also facilitate with global standards and regulation like GDPR and HIPAA. Both the mentioned regulations also require organizations to implement security measures for protecting personal data and sensitive PHI data. So, establishing security measures and best practices in PCI DSS will also help achieve the requirements of other regulations like GDPR and HIPAA. So, this is definitely a good reason for your organization to consider developing and achieving PCI DSS Compliance and undergoing a PCI audit. 


PCI DSS Compliance goes a long way in not just securing payment card data but also securing the reputation of the organization when it comes to dealing with customer data. It is critical that your organization provides and establishes minimum security standards for customers. This way customers also know that you are taking measures keeping in mind their best interests. On the other hand, in case of a data breach or a lack of security standards may result in a poor reputation for your business. So, performing a PCI DSS Audit isn’t just for preventing a breach and maintaining a company reputation but also for securing customer data and building a baseline framework for achieving other international standards as well.




Times International and SaaScada partner to deliver innovative trade and commerce financial solutions




Global trade is forecast to increase between 30% and 70% by 2030, with 80% relying on trade finance. With traditional merchant banks struggling to meet the challenges of digitisation needed to deliver faster trade flows, Times International will focus on bridging the current supply chain funding gaps, offering market leading digital finance and FOREX services to SMEs in addition to insurance and logistics.

Times International will initially launch as a wholesale funded lender in the first quarter of 2023 and apply in parallel for approval to become a fully regulated Bank.

SaaScada’s flexible and scalable technology has been selected to deliver the core banking solution and the team will work closely with Times International to build a cohesive eco-system of financial technology suppliers.

This will deliver greater transparency and an elevated customer experience for all users across the full trade cycle which will deliver international trade finance to SMEs in the UK, continental Europe, and APAC.

Times International chose SaaScada’s core banking technology due to both the excellence of its platform and alignment of sustainability goals.  With an increased expectation for ESG accreditation driving behaviours, the need to simplify the supply chain through directly contracted trade has created a growing need for finance options for SMEs.

SaaScada’s data architecture is designed to enable fast and efficient reporting of financial data as well as consumption of external data, making it possible for Times International to interrogate data sourced from traditional market sources such as Bill of Lading & Customs Data in conjunction with their customer data. SaaScada’s data approach combined with open APIs, will enable one-click SME access to reporting across the Times International portal and minimise rekeying of data for faster and efficient customer verification, processing and approvals.

Importantly, the easy access to real-time data will facilitate both self-assessed and 3rd party assessment of ESG performance to ensure that transactions meet the criteria of green deposits.

Steve Round – ‘SaaScada are very excited to be part of this venture which will power finance to facilitate shorter supply chains and support SMEs to deliver more sustainable global commerce. We are very much looking forward to working closely with Times International to develop their offering and deliver real change in international trade.

Steve Rose – ‘Our partnership with SaaScada will enable us to offer finance solutions not traditionally available to SMEs in this space.  SaaScada’s unique data architecture and extremely flexible product configuration will enable us to support our customer base and respond quickly to their changing needs, which is especially important in the current global economic climate.  Culturally, their shared sense of purpose for sustainability and collaborative approach has made us a natural fit. 

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3S Money partners with Crown Agents Bank to boost international trade




3S Money, the UK Fintech scaleup, has partnered with Crown Agents Bank to offer 33 new currencies to its corporate clients for the first time, to support their international growth.

The partnership will enable 3S Money’s clients to make payments in a total of 65 currencies, now including Brazilian Real, Ghanian Cedi, and West African Franc, and have access to 45 new local payment rails. This will help 3S Money’s client base scale faster into new markets, save time and increase their revenue. The partnership will also allow 3S Money’s clients to efficiently enter the African market for the first time.

Founded in 2018, 3S Money has chosen to work with Crown Agents Bank to offer these new currencies and payment rails because of Crown Agents’ secure global infrastructure and coverage. With nearly 200 years of experience, Crown Agents Bank is a UK-regulated provider of wholesale foreign exchange (FX) and cross-border payment services, connected across hard-to-reach markets.

Hard-to-reach (emerging) markets are home to 85% of the global population, and nearly 90% of people under 30. However, in 2022, payments to and from these markets are still challenging, expansive and unreliable. A McKinsey survey suggests that, with banks and non-bank players innovating to reduce friction in domestic and cross-border payments, Africa’s e-payments market is expected to reach about $40 billion by 2025, compared with about $200 billion in Latin America.

Aligned by their mission to promote global financial inclusivity, both 3S Money and Crown Agents Bank are dedicated to connecting emerging markets to the rest of the world, through FX and payments innovation.

Ivan Zhiznevskiy, CEO at 3S Money comments, “3S Money is a cross-border payments ecosystem for international businesses. Our purpose is to provide businesses with the guidance and financial services required to scale new markets and expand their footprint.”

“We believe that by eliminating passport discrimination in the financial services sector, the growth opportunities for global businesses will be limitless. Crown Agents Bank are the perfect partner to help us offer sustainable, affordable, and accessible FX and currency services in emerging markets that have a wealth of opportunity.”

Gary Willis, Relationship Banker at Crown Agents Bank said, “this partnership makes perfect sense in our mission to connect hard-to-reach markets to the global economy”.

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