Level 3 Merchants Hit PCI Compliance At 60 Percent, Visa Confirms Numbers For The First Time

Visa's latest PCI compliance stats report Level 3 compliance for the first time, and it opened at a discomforting 60 percent. The 3,024 retailers in Level 3—which reflects those processing 20,000 to 1 million Visa E-Commerce transactions annually—had before only had their compliance level marked as "moderate." The 377 Level 1 merchants (processing more than 6 million Visa transactions annually) saw their compliance inch up from 96 percent six months earlier to 97 percent as of June 30.

The 881 Level 2 merchants (1 million to 6 million Visa transactions annually) maintained their exact compliance level from the end of 2010, holding at 96 percent. The compliance level of the more than 5 million Level 4 merchants—those retailers processing fewer than 20,000 Visa E-Commerce transactions annually, along with retailers processing as many as 1 million Visa transactions of any type annually—is still secret, with Visa continuing to identify it as "moderate." It's hard to read too much into that moderate designation, but it's not too far-fetched to assume that Visa wanted to wait until Level 3 compliance was high enough to announce. If so, that would suggest that Level 4s are now well south of 60 percent, a suggestion that should surprise absolutely no one.