Hotel Technology

New PCI 4.0 Compliance Rules 2023 for Hospitality: Everything you need to know

5 Minutes

Kajal Makhija

New PCI 4.0 Compliance Rules 2023 for Hospitality: Everything you need to know

Kajal Makhija
Published on

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An estimated 5-6% of the hospitality industry's total yearly revenue is lost to fraud, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. The latest and greatest Payment Card Industry (PCI) standard is PCI v4.0, and it's designed to safeguard your guests' private data and your business.

Data security is still a top priority for companies of all sizes and in all sectors, despite the fact that the digital landscape is constantly changing. Hotels, like any other business that deals with customers' private information, are not immune to this problem. 

The latest upgrade to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)—PCI 4.0 compliance guidelines—has been issued, reflecting the ongoing adoption of technology for the sake of faster operations and improved guest experiences. 

Understanding PCI v4.0 and Its importance

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of internationally recognised security requirements intended to secure cardholder data and prevent credit card fraud. It's a comprehensive collection of regulations for businesses that process, store, or transfer credit card information. 

The PCI Security Standards Council has been working hard to improve the industry as a whole, and this is one result of those efforts. In particular, it seeks to improve such internal processes as data production, administration, dissemination, and security. To this end, it issues updated recommendations on a regular basis to assist firms in perfecting their processes in this area and maintaining compliance. 

History of PCI DSS

As e-commerce became a larger part of the global economy in the early 2000s, credit card companies began to reconsider their approach to securing the cardholder environment. There were new hazards associated with the expansion of web-based transactions, but no unified set of standards existed to ensure the consistent and secure processing, storage, and transmission of credit card information.

Thus, in 2004, a group of credit card companies released the initial version of PCI-DSS. PCI-DSS Version 1.0 has also undergone numerous revisions to account for technological advancements and evolving cyber threats.

When PCI-DSS 4.0 is released officially in the first quarter of 2022, it is anticipated to differ from PCI-DSS 3.2.1 in several respects. The most significant change is how enterprises will achieve compliance. PCI-DSS 3.2.1 includes not only a list of objectives, but also specific and stringent requirements dictating how organizations must accomplish those objectives. 

Businesses unable to comply with these prescribed steps must implement compensating control, a cumbersome and time-consuming procedure that requires an organization to go "above and beyond" the intent of the primary control. PCI-DSS 4.0 retains the current prescriptive method for conformance, but replaces compensating controls with a new option: customized implementation. 

Risks and consequences of PCI non-compliance

Data breaches are the principal danger of PCI non-compliance. Without proper procedures in place, fraud and cybercrime are more likely to occur. Depending on the nature of the violations and the size of your business, the fines and penalties could be anywhere from $5,000 per month to $100,000 per month. In the event of a breach, some businesses may be required by their bank to pay higher transaction fees. However, a business reputation and customer trust might take a serious hit if a data breach occurs because of the company’s failure to comply.

After a data breach, it might be expensive to address non-compliance issues. Depending on the severity of the situation, victims may be entitled to monetary compensation, legal representation, credit monitoring services, and/or forensic investigations. These prices are much greater than the initial expenditure necessary to stay PCI compliant.

Finally, if noncompliance is identified or repeated, credit card firms might remove or suspend your hotel's ability to conduct transactions.

Why hoteliers have to act fast?

The time it takes for your property to meet the new requirements could be substantial. It can be difficult to achieve PCI compliance.

In order to keep your customers' trust and provide them with the most cutting-edge data security, you must be PCI compliant. By implementing PCI v4.0's recommended practises, hotels may give their guests peace of mind about the safety of their personal information and financial transactions. As an added bonus, hotels that are PCI v4.0 compliant stand out from their non-compliant rivals by demonstrating their dedication to guest and cardholder security.

Adopting PCI compliant digital credit card authorization technology reduces front desk workload and improves visitor experience in comparison to sticking with non-compliant processes such as paper or PDF credit card authorization forms.

Encryption and tokenization are highlighted in PCI v4.0 because of their critical responsibilities in safeguarding cardholder data. Encryption makes information unintelligible to prying eyes, both in transit and at rest. Tokenization, on the other hand, substitutes randomly generated tokens for sensitive information, rendering it useless to hackers even if it were stolen.

All systems that store cardholder data will be required to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) as a protective measure against hacking. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) increases security by requiring users to provide multiple forms of identity before gaining access to sensitive information.

How to implement PCI v4.0

To ensure the safety of cardholder information, the Payment Card Industry has established the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). New to PCI v4.0 are a number of standards that hotels must meet in order to accept credit cards. 

Here are the measures required to bring a hotel up to PCI v4.0 standards:


  • The initial action is to evaluate the current state of security and locate any noncompliance issues. To aid with this process, you can use the PCI DSS Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ).
  • Once you've figured out where you're falling short on compliance, you can begin fixing the problem. Actions, deadlines, and assignees should all be detailed in this plan.
  • Put the strategy into action and track your development. After the strategy has been put into action, it must be tracked regularly to ensure continued conformity. To keep track of any emerging vulnerabilities, you should do security audits on a regular basis.


  • Implementing PCI DSS 4.0 externally, particularly for hotels, requires collaboration with external service providers, vendors, and partners who manage payment data on your behalf. 
  • By actively involving external partners in your PCI DSS 4.0 compliance efforts and holding them to the same stringent requirements, you can create a secure environment for handling payment data. 
  • Regular communication, solid contractual agreements, and exhaustive assessments are essential to the successful implementation of external PCI compliance.

To conclude

For hotels to protect their customers' personal information, maintain their good name, and stay ahead of the competition, they must ensure they are PCI v4.0 compliant. Hotels may strengthen their data security and provide a secure setting for their visitors by establishing a dedicated compliance team, conducting a thorough data audit, and implementing encryption, tokenization, and multi-factor authentication. 

The key to long-term compliance is consistent security awareness training and testing. Using a digital replacement for traditional credit card authorization forms is one way to achieve this goal. By working together, the hotel industry can adopt PCI v4.0, protect its profits, and increase patron confidence in an increasingly digital world.

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