Visa & MasterCard Rules and Regulations

Shannon Andrade |

May 31, 2012

Credit Card Rules and Regulations

As a merchant accepting MasterCard® and Visa®, there are basic card acceptance rules that you must follow. By adhering to these rules, you can increase customer satisfaction and ensure that you do not run into compliance issues, which may put your continued ability to accept credit cards at risk. The following are some of the rules outlined in the Visa and MasterCard manuals:

Card Logos & Acceptance: You must display the appropriate card logos for any card types that you accept and advise your customers of their payment options. You must honor all categories of cards (credit, debit, rewards etc.) within each card type that you accept.

Dollar Minimums and Maximums: You may not impose a minimum or maximum amount for any transactions. If you do not accept a customer charge, which is below a certain amount that you specify, the customer can notify Visa and/or MasterCard, who will take the appropriate steps to see that you understand and adhere to the card acceptance rules and regulations.

Surcharges: All credit card transactions must be treated like any other transactions. You may not impose any surcharge on a transaction because your customer is using a credit card. However, you may offer a discount to your customers for paying in cash provided the offer is clearly disclosed to your customers and the cash price is a discount from the standard price charged for any other type of payment.

Laundering: You may only process transactions for your own business. Processing transactions for a business that does not have a valid merchant agreement is called laundering and is considered a form of fraud.

To learn more about the rules and regulations of accepting Visa and MasterCard cards, please contact us or see the Visa and MasterCard guides available through the Visa and MasterCard websites.