Do businesses need PCI compliance with Stripe

By William Dawsey, Chetu Inc.

When moving to a new payment platform, it is essential to understand what the 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, which means they meet the data security standard of the payment card industry.

These mandatory requirements help provide adequate security for consumers when accepting, processing, storing or transmitting credit card data. Failure to comply with PCI DSS can result in costly monthly fines, data breaches, lawsuits, and damage to the company’s reputation. Many companies don’t want to take the risk of violating PCI compliance, so they rely on their software vendors to use PCI compliant integrations like Stripe. This gives businesses peace of mind about their PCI compliance needs.


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

Once Stripe’s highly secure servers receive the card details, they will send a symbolic representation. A server can quickly submit it for use. This process completely avoids placing the data on the platform user’s servers, which means fewer PCI compliance issues.

Some of the more stringent PCI compliance requirements relate to the storage of cardholder data. With Checkout, Stripe is the organization that keeps the cardholder’s data, not the platform user. This makes PCI compliance one of Stripe’s requirements, not the company’s legal requirements.

This makes Stripe’s Checkout an extremely convenient solution for any software program seeking to reduce critical PCI compliance issues regarding the collection, processing and storage of consumer credit card data. Due to the outsourcing of payment processing to a third party, platform users can complete a simple SAQ-A, the simplest of compliance forms.

Mobile SDK

Stripe provides an SDK compliant with PCI-DSS 6.3 and 6.5 requirements. Its validated architecture enables the transmission of consumer credit card data directly to Stripe’s servers. While it is strongly recommended that you rely on Stripe’s official SDKs for iOS and Android to ensure proper PCI-DSS compliance, customization is possible.

You can create a single payment form with Elements in WebView. This provides more flexibility in terms of design functionality for the business. The official SDK and forms created with Elements in WebView are PCI DSS compliant to submit a simple SAQ-A.


The Stripe dashboard provides a user-friendly interface for business owners to operate and configure their Stripe account. In the dashboard, it is possible to accept payments, make refunds, respond to disputes and monitor their overall integration into the system.

Although one can manually enter payment details in the dashboard, this is not recommended as it could lead to PCI compliance issues. Stripe cannot guarantee that cardholder data entered by the end consumer into its secure SDKs, Checkout or Elements. Stripe cannot fully secure the data entered manually from the consumer by the company because it did not handle the data collection.

While the standard Stripe dashboard is very user-friendly, personalization is a necessity for most businesses. Businesses should consider integrating other useful apps to turn the dashboard into a one-stop-shop. Some popular integrations include transfer reporting, accounting support, invoicing, and financial reporting. All of these can be integrated in a PCI-DSS compliant manner.

Directly to the API

Sending cardholder information directly to its API opens up more PCI compliance necessities. Instead of taking advantage of the ease of SAQ-A that one could have with Stripe PCI compliance, it will be necessary to download SAQ-D. This form is much longer and more complete than the SAQ-A. Most businesses will not want to deal with the extensive SAQ-D when they can submit an SAQ-A.

It is strongly advised to migrate to client side tokenization like Stripe, as this reduces the compliance requirements for the user. When you are not migrating, they are not supported by Radar. Radar is Stripe’s fraud prevention toolkit that includes features like risk assessment and rules. Only users of Stripe’s SDKs, Checkout, and Elements get additional Radar support. Additionally, Stripe users can enjoy the added benefit of Stripe PCI compliance.

Stripe strongly recommends that businesses use Stripe’s Mobile SDKs, Checkout, or Elements to accept all forms of consumer credit card payment. This eliminates the integration of credit card data management. Even though the integration does not store credit card data, it will still need to meet specific PCI compliance regulations as it processes sensitive consumer data.

Why is Capacity Improvement Beneficial for PCI Compliance for Stripe?

PCI compliance is not something to mess around with. Even those unaware of, compliance violations can result in costly fines and business destruction. As a software vendor, we want to protect ourselves from breaches and their many customers. Having a customer unhappy with PCI compliance violations because of a product in their offering can lead to a bad relationship and potentially unpleasant legal situation.

One can avoid these unpleasant situations with their consumers by personalizing any platform. Knowledgeable developers handle the full Stripe integration and will ensure compliance. All software development tailored to meet the needs of any organization will comply with US 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 complete a large portion of business transactions. You have to think about integrating a payment system that allows them to comply with PCI standards. Stripe integration services that comply with PCI DSS and a long list of other compliance standards are the best choice for any business.

About the Author

William Dawsey, Vice President of Finance and Payment Systems at Chetu inc. offers insight into the changing tides in the payments landscape by discussing how emerging technologies will disrupt pre-existing architecture. Chetu Inc. is a custom software provider specializing in payment gateway solutions, systems integration, Blockchain development, and other fintech solutions.

Margie D. Carlisle