Welcome to the Cooper studio, Jefferson, Iowa.
It's cloudy. It's snowy. But I am officially in compliance. Whooptyfrickendo.
Before we begin, I should state this pertains to artists who exhibit at summer art fairs, so the rest of you can read on and feel sorry for us, or go to the next post, your choice.
But. Artists who exhibit at summer art fairs, you KNOW how many times patrons are only carrying that little piece of plastic. No paper checks, no cash. Sometimes you can work out arrangements, but sooner or later you will lose the big sale if you don't accept credit/debit cards. Besides if someone loves my paintings, then I love them enough to make it easy for them.
So it turns out MastercardVisaDiscoverAmericanExpressAndWhoeverIMayHaveLeftOut want to make it more difficult and they have decided to give us some new rules:
"The payment card associations have developed a comprehensive set of requirements...known as the "payment card industry data secuirty standard, or PCI-DSS"
Lovely forms to fill out to show that we take good care of people's credit card info. If you fit the category outlined in paragraph #4 and haven't heard about this, you will. Yes, they are throwing businesses who process credit/debit cards at the rate of 100 per hour in with the likes of us who only process a few on weekends. In the summer. Out doors.
You will be required to fill out a SAQ (self assessment questionaire) (which points out another error in their thinking: if a merchant is already cheating then why on earth would he/she be honest on the SAQ?) But I am honest and so I carefully filled out every blank on their overly detailed questionaire.
HERE COMES THE ADVICE PART: on the lovely little SAQ self assessment questionaire, you will eventually come to a section devoted to employee security. Eight questions that each break down to 4 or 5 subquestions, give or take a few. You are given the option to answer "does not apply" which seemed pretty logical to me, as I have no employees. That immediately gives you lots of little boxes to explain in, which I carefully and painstakingly did. I finally reach the bottom of the form, clicked "attest" and whamo! Sirens, flashing red lights! Well, no actually just red letters. I got noncompliance status. Reason: I don't have a security system in place for my employees. Solution, you ask? I backed up the form to the page in question. We had a staff meeting attended by me, myself, and I. We discussed security. I reminded Me that if we don't keep close watch over those credit card slips that we don't get paid. Myself agreed that security is of the utmost importance. Each of us present at the meeting firmly stated that we all understand. I, the person in charge, clicked yes in all the boxes on their friggincolumn, and I once again clicked attest. Results? I am now certified compliant.
You say that sounds ludicrous? Yeah, I thought so too. Hope the info helps.
About the Artist
links to good places
Cooper, on painting, blog
CooperStudio newsletter signup
Links To Recent Audio Newsletters