Guest Column | July 1, 2021

Do Businesses Need PCI Compliance With Stripe?

By William Dawsey, Chetu Inc.

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When switching to a new payment platform, it's essential to understand what legal compliance requirements are to sell compliant software solutions to their consumers. All programs like Stripe that accept credit cards must be PCI DSS compliant, meaning that it meets the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

These mandatory requirements help provide adequate consumer security when accepting, processing, storing, or transmitting credit card data. Failure to be PCI DSS compliant can lead to costly monthly fines, data breaches, legal action, and a damaged business reputation. Many businesses don't want to take the risk of violating PCI compliance, so they rely on their software providers to use PCI-compliant integrations like Stripe. This gives businesses peace of mind about their PCI compliance needs.


Stripe Checkout is an embeddable payment form that can be integrated into any program for optimized customer conversion. This program eliminates the need to consistently redirect the consumer and potentially lose them along the way. When consumers enter their credit card details into the Checkout form, the details are securely sent to Stripe's servers. This is part of Stripe's requirements for a secure payment portal for all its customers.

Once Stripe's highly secure servers receive the card details, they'll send a token representation. A server can quickly submit this for use. This process completely bypasses putting the data on the platform user's servers, which means fewer issues with PCI compliance.

Some of the most stringent PCI compliance requirements revolve around storing cardholder data. With Checkout, Stripe is the organization keeping the cardholder's data, not the platform user. This makes PCI compliance one of Stripe's requirements and not the business's legal requirements.

This makes Stripe's Checkout an extremely convenient solution for any software program looking to reduce critical PCI compliance issues regarding collecting, processing, and storing consumer credit card data. Due to the third-party outsourcing of payment processing, platform users can enjoy filing a simple SAQ-A, the easiest of the compliance forms.

Mobile SDK

Stripe provides an SDK that is compliant with PCI-DSS requirements 6.3 and 6.5. Its validated architecture allows for the passing of consumer credit card data straight to Stripe's servers. While it's highly recommended to rely on the official SDKs for iOS and Android from Stripe to ensure adequate PCI-DSS compliance, customization is possible.

One may build a unique payment form with Elements in WebView. This offers more flexibility in terms of design features for the business. The official SDK and forms made with Elements in WebView are PCI DSS compliant to submit a simple SAQ-A.


Stripe's Dashboard provides a user-friendly interface to allow business owners to operate and configure their Stripe account. In the Dashboard, one can accept payments, initiate refunds, answer disputes, and monitor their overall system integration.

While one can manually enter payment details in the Dashboard, it's not recommended as this could open one up to PCI compliance issues. Stripe can only guarantee cardholder data entered by the end consumer in their secure SDKs, Checkout, or Elements. Stripe cannot entirely secure data manually taken from the consumer by the business as they didn't handle the taking of the data.

While the standard Stripe Dashboard is very user-friendly, customization is a necessity for most businesses. Businesses should consider integrating other helpful applications to turn the Dashboard into a one-stop-shop. Some popular integrations include transfer reporting, accounting support, billing, and financial reporting. All of these can be integrated in a PCI-DSS-compliant way.

Directly To The API

Sending cardholder information directly to one's API opens one up to more PCI compliance necessities. Instead of enjoying the ease of SAQ-A that one could have with Stripe PCI compliance, one will be required to upload SAQ-D. This form is much more time-consuming and comprehensive than SAQ-A. Most businesses won't want to deal with the extensive SAQ-D when they can submit SAQ-A.

It's highly advisable to migrate to client-side tokenization like Stripe, as this reduces the compliance requirements for the user. When one doesn't migrate, they aren't supported by Radar. Radar is Stripe's fraud prevention toolset that includes functions like risk assessment and rules. Only users of Stripe's SDKs, Checkout, and Elements get the added support of Radar. Plus, users of Stripe can enjoy the added benefit of Stripe PCI compliance.

Stripe highly recommends that businesses use Stripe's mobile SDKs, Checkout, or Elements for accepting all forms of credit card payments from consumers. This eliminates one's integration from handling any credit card data. Even though one's integration may not be storing credit card data, it will still need to meet specific PCI compliance regulations because it handles sensitive consumer data.

Why Enhancing Capabilities Is Beneficial When It Comes To PCI Compliance For Stripe?

PCI compliance is not something that one wants to mess around with. Even those that one wasn't knowingly aware of, violations of compliance can lead to costly fines and business destruction. As a software provider, one wants to protect themselves from breaches and their many clients. Having a client upset about PCI compliance violations due to a product of one's offering can lead to a bad relationship and a potentially nasty legal situation.

One can avoid these unpleasant situations with their consumers by customizing any platform. Savvy developers handle full Stripe integration and will guarantee compliance. All software development tailor-made to fit any organization’s needs will comply with U.S. Consumer Protection Standards, PCR, PCI DSS, EMV, Check-21, PA DSS, and many other payment standards.

A viable payment processing platform is just the start in a world that requires credit card processing to conduct a large portion of business transactions. One must think about integrating a payment system that allows them to be PCI compliant. Stripe integration services that are PCI DSS compliant alongside a long list of other compliance standards are any business’ best choice.

About The Author

William Dawsey, V.P. of Finance and Payment Systems at Chetu Inc. offers insights into the changing tides within the payments landscape discussing how emerging technologies will rattle the preexisting architecture. Chetu Inc. is a custom software provider specializing in payment gateway solutions, system integration, Blockchain development, and other fintech solutions.