This week, the PCI SSC hosts the first in-person Community Meeting in Toronto, Canada since 2019. In this blog, we interview Lance Johnson, Executive Director of the PCI SSC about his major announcement related to the PCI SSC Participating Organization (PO) program.
You had a major announcement at the North American Community Meeting this week about a reorganization of the Participating Organization program. What is the big news?
Lance Johnson: Yes, we did, but first of all, let me just say how wonderful it is to be back in person again! After two years of virtual community meetings, it is great to see so many faces – new and familiar back in person. I have already had many people approach me to say how glad they are to be in person again and see people again. In-person is still the best way to conduct business.
Now, about the major announcement. The PCI SSC is reorganizing our Participating Organization (PO) program to include three tiers of participation. This change is based upon feedback we have received from stakeholders and will allow anyone who wants to participate in the PCI SSC the opportunity to engage with us. Stakeholders can pick the option that works best for them.
The three tiers include:
Principal Participating Organization – this tier is designed to enable a deeper level of collaboration and interaction with the Council on both a tactical and strategic level. Principal POs will have the opportunity to have greater dialogue with the Council’s staff and leadership on the direction of Standards and Programs as well as have a greater likelihood of serving on the Council’s Board of Advisors. A seat on the BoA will now include the ability to vote on the approval of new standards and major standard revisions.
Associate Participating Organization – this tier is comparable to our existing PO program—though with the expansion of the Board of Advisors there is greater opportunity for serving on that body.
Individual Participant – this tier provides individuals who may not be able to join at the organizational level with access to selected Council publications and resources.
This new structure will become effective on 2 January 2023.
Speaking of the Board of Advisors – not only will the number of BoA members be increasing, but they will now have the opportunity to vote on important matters – correct?
Lance Johnson: Yes, this is something we are very excited about at the Council. Under this new structure, our Board of Advisors (BoA) will be expanding from 30 to as many as 59 members. Up to twenty-four of those seats will come directly from the Principal tier PO program. Starting in June 2023, the BoA will have the opportunity to vote on new standards and major revisions to standards prior to their release.
That is a very big announcement! Why did you make this decision now?
Lance Johnson: The PCI SSC’s PO program has been a cornerstone of how the PCI SSC has interacted with stakeholders since our inception in 2006. Both payment technology and the scope of PCI SSC’s programs have changed extensively since then. Where the Council was launched with a single standard, today there are a portfolio of 15 standards. Technology innovations such as the iPhone were launched after the Council’s inception and have had a huge impact on how payments work worldwide. And new players have come into the market who are driving the future of payments. In recognition of these market changes, the PCI SSC has conducted extensive research with current and prospective stakeholders to create a PO program that reflects these changes to the payment ecosystem and positions us for the future.
What is the difference between the Principal tier and the Associate tier?
Lance Johnson: The Associate PO program is meant to parallel the existing PO program. The price to participate at this level will be lower but comparable same as it is to today. The Associate PO provides global organizations a significant opportunity to interact and influence PCI SSC Standards and the direction of the Council as it aims to continue to help secure payment data. Associate PO’s can stand for election on the newly expanded Board of Advisors where they will now have the opportunity to vote on new standard releases and major updates. Associate PO’s will also retain the ability to participate in the RFC process and of course will retain their two free CM tickets. Associate PO’s can now influence guide and support from the very start throughout its entire lifespan. This is a unique and unbelievable opportunity for improving payment security.
The Principal PO is designed to enable a deeper level of collaboration and interaction with the PCI SSC on both a tactical and strategic level. Principal POs are expected to commit additional resources but will have the opportunity to have greater dialogue with the PCI SSC’s staff and leadership on the direction of Standards and Programs as well as have a greater likelihood of serving on the Council’s Board of Advisors. This tier is designed for those organizations who want greater engagement and input with the PCI SSC.
This all sounds very exciting and groundbreaking for the PCI SSC. Where can PCI SSC stakeholders get more information about this new PO participation model?
Lance Johnson: We will be communicating more about the PO reorganization in the coming months with our many stakeholders around the world. For more information about the many benefits of being a PO please visit. You can also contact the PCI SSC directly with questions at email@example.com.