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Identifying Merchant Level

Prior to beginning the PCI compliance assessment process, it is important to understand your merchant level categorization and corresponding compliance validation and reporting requirements. It is also important to understand whether you have a direct contractual relationship with Discover ("Discover Merchants") or if you have a contract with a Discover Acquirer ("Acquired Merchants"). This factor will help you understand where and how you are required to submit your compliance report.

An organization’s Discover Merchant Level is determined by several factors: annual transaction volume, merchant level with other payment brands, and, in some cases¹, the discretion of Discover.

1All merchants processing more than 6 million card transactions annually on the Discover network. Any merchant that Discover, in its sole discretion1, determines should meet the Level 1 compliance validation and reporting requirements All merchants required by another payment brand or acquirer to validate and report their compliance as a Level 1 merchant
2All merchants processing between 1 million and 6 million card transactions annually on the Discover network
3All merchants processing between 20,000 and 1 million card-not-present only transactions annually on the Discover network
4All other merchants
1Any merchant that suffers a data security breach that resulted in the actual or suspected compromise of Discover Cardholder data may be required to validate their compliance with the PCI DSS at a higher level, as determined in the sole discretion of Discover.
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