One of the more interesting doom and gloom stories I've seen recently is from John Mauldin's Thoughts From the Frontline newsletter. He says McDonald's is now the second largest merchant card processor. Does that mean we're paying for our cheap fast food at 29 percent interest rates?
It means many things, mostly that younger people never use cash, so you better accept credit and debit cards. If you sell to the public, or small businesses, or large business departments, you must take plastic.
It also means you should take a quick look at your PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance rules. If you take plastic, you have new rules to follow. Might as well take a look at your security requirements before the holiday season kicks in full time.
One good place to start is the PC Security Standards Council. The second place to start is your credit card processor. They will happily blanket you with information about the security issues involved.
If you're reading ITworld, you're probably ahead of most of the 12 steps to PCI security compliance already. Have a security policy written down? That actually causes most non-technical businesses to fail their PCI audit right there. Have passwords? Have a firewall? Manage your credit card data carefully? All these steps are data management best practices, but trucker cap kiosks in shopping malls are now under security regulations they don't understand.
And for lunch, go to McDonald's. They have the McRib back again for a while.