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How to Develop a PCI DSS-Compliant Fintech Mobile App?

How to Develop a PCI DSS-Compliant Fintech Mobile App

Ensuring your fintech app conforms to PCI DSS is essential to keep your app secure from cyber attacks or fines and legal problems that could lead to a financial loss. A fintech mobile application involving debit/credit cards is required to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. The standard protects the privacy and data of cardholders using the fintech application. Creating an app in compliance with such legal requirements is best handled by hiring an experienced development company.

PCI DSS Requirements for Fintech App Development

Fintech mobile application development only needs compliance with requirements 3, 4, and 6 of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. Compliance with these requirements protects cardholder data when stored, processed, or transferred with better encryptions, network security, and authentication.

Requirement 3: Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS)

PCI SSC applies the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS), Software Security Framework (SSF), and the Secure Software Lifecycle (Secure SLC) Standard to support the use of secure payment software within cardholder data environments (CDE). Go through the standards mentioned below to know what you need to ensure your fintech application complies with PCI DSS requirements.

3.1

There should be a limit on the app database and retention time according to legal requirements. Every quarter should end with the removal of unnecessary data.

3.2

Storing sensitive user authentication data, encrypted or not, is prohibited, with the exception of authentication data legally required for accessing services/products by the business.

3.3

It should be allowed to display only the last 4 or first 6 digits of the PAN.

3.4

The sensitive PAN details must be unreadable and protected in any and every digital presence.

3.5

Encryption keys protecting cardholder data from theft, misuse, and leaks should be tested and protected.

3.6

Development companies must document the management process for the encryption keys utilized for cardholder data.

Requirement 4: Encrypting the cardholder data for transmission across public and open networks

4.1

Implementing reliable security protocols is mandatory for app development companies to secure sensitive cardholder data on public networks.

4.2

Usage of unsecured/unmasked PAN must not be allowed for end users and the platform.

Requirement 6: Build and Maintain Application Security

6.1

It is mandatory to document software assets like libraries and tools included in the development. Developers must assign risk rankings such as High, Medium, and Critical to any identified vulnerability in these software assets.

6.2

Asset risk monitoring and tested/approved security patches are essential after release.

6.3

Documentation of software development stages is mandatory and must be used to present how it complies with the security and PCI standards.

6.3 (1):

Developers must remove user IDs, custom accounts, and passwords (utilized for testing) from the application before release.

6.3 (2):

It is mandatory to review custom codes for vulnerabilities before release.

6.4

Development agencies must follow data security for any collection, transfer, and storage of user data utilized during development.

6.5

The app developers must be able to implement secure coding according to industry standards that are essential to safeguard the user data in fintech applications.

6.6

Fintech applications accessible on the internet must be protected with WAF (Web Application Firewall).

Final Note

Get experienced fintech app developers to simplify this complex process for your app. They will manage every requirement and ensure that your fintech app complies with PCI DSS during development and after deployment.


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Zachary Devies

Senior Developer, Ailoitte

@zacharydevies
Flutter Developer and also experienced in Native Android Development
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