Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council is a global body founded by American Express, Discover, JCB International, MasterCard and Visa Inc. It was formed to develop, improve, and help with security standards for payment and account security. They created a body of security standards known as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard helping merchants, companies and financial institutions implement security policies to protect their payment systems from a theft of card data.
The Council maintains, evolves, and promotes the Payment Card Industry Security Standards. It also provides critical tools needed for implementation of the standards such as assessment and scanning qualifications, self-assessment questionnaires, training and education, and product certification programs.