News | November 12, 2013

Study: SMB Merchants Showing Greater Payment Security Awareness

However significant challenges, and misconceptions still remain. Fifth annual payment card industry survey offers critical insights for merchant service providers

ControlScan and Merchant Warehouse have jointly released the results of their fifth annual survey of Level 4 merchants’ awareness, sentiment and progress toward securing cardholder data in compliance with payment card industry (PCI) standards.

The Level 4 merchant group represents 98% of all U.S. retailers, is primarily comprised of small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs), and numbers in the millions. The newly-released research report “Payment Security and the SMB: The Fifth Annual Survey of Level 4 Merchant PCI Compliance Trends” reveals that as a group these merchants are making progress, yet key concerns remain.

“Nearly three-quarters of survey respondents believe complying with PCI standards improves the security of their business, and that’s encouraging,” said Joan Herbig, CEO of ControlScan. “As a whole, though, these merchants are showing a lack of corresponding activity for prevention and detection. In addition, they are not prepared should a data breach occur.”

A total of 615 Level 4 merchants responded to the 2013 survey, providing many critical insights for independent sales organizations (ISOs), acquirers and other merchant service providers (MSPs), including:

  • 43% are personally responsible for information security in their organization, while 35% say no one is assigned the responsibility;
  • 51% do not require their third-party service providers to achieve and maintain PCI compliance; and
  • Only 36% have developed an incident response plan (IRP) for their business.

“SMB merchants have a distinct need when it comes to payment security and compliance,” said Henry Helgeson, CEO, Merchant Warehouse. “Very few have the time or resources to think through what it takes to better their security posture, and most don’t even realize the significant risk their business faces. It’s up to us as their MSP to give them a cost-effective, simplified way to succeed in this regard.”

To access a copy of the survey research report, which includes an in-depth discussion of the implications Level 4 merchants’ responses have for their own breach risk as well as the risk the MSPs serving them face, please click here (

In addition, ControlScan and Merchant Warehouse are hosting a joint webinar on November 20, 2013 to present the study's findings. More information and registration for the webinar can be found here (

About ControlScan
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, ControlScan delivers payment security and compliance solutions to a global network of merchant service providers and the small businesses they serve. The company’s innovative approach to secure hosted payment and PCI compliance solutions leverages technology, education and services to provide flexible options for its customers. Known for its thought leadership, ControlScan gives its customers a clear view of marketplace issues and trends so they can remain competitive. For more information, visit

About Merchant Warehouse
Merchant Warehouse is a leading provider of payment technologies and merchant services. The company’s solutions enable merchants to more effectively connect and engage with their customers regardless of how, where or when they choose to shop. Merchant Warehouse’s flagship technology solution, the Genius Customer Engagement Platform, supports both traditional and new payment types, including mobile commerce, from a single countertop acceptance device.

SOURCE: ControlScan