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PCI compliance refers to standards instituted by the PCI Security Standards Council which is a council formed by major credit card brands. Compliance with the standards is enforced by the individual credit card brands. If you will be processing and/or storing people's credit cards, PCI compliance is required. You may be working with a card processing company that needs you to show that your website is PCI compliant.
Due to the nature of PCI scans, if you do need to run a scan on your site, please make sure the scan is done during off peak hours (night time is best). PCI scans should not be conducted during normal hours as it can cause undue stress on the server that houses your account and could result in an incomplete scan due to the IP conducting the scan being blocked.
For some e-commerce merchants, processing and storing credit cards is not desirable. If you do not wish to go through the steps required for PCI compliance or be responsible for the storage of credit card data; you may want to consider an alternate payment solution. Many site owners use a service such as PayPal, Google Checkout, or Checkout by Amazon. These alternatives take over the processing and storage of credit card data by having your site handing off the checkout process to their site instead.
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