Merchant Website Recommendations

Merchants taking credit card payments online, are encouraged to follow the guidelines presented in this article. These guidelines are design to reduce disputes, fraud and chargebacks while presenting customers with a clear and transparent payment process. Merchants adopting these guidelines will ensure their merchant application is approved faster.

Merchant websites should contain the following:

  1. Corporate information, trading name most recognizable to the cardholder, postal address, e-mail address, telephone number(s) and country of domicile of the business. The company name should be included if it is different to the trading name. The country of domicile of the business location should be clearly disclosed to the cardholder immediately prior to completion of the payment instructions.
  2. A complete and accurate description of the goods/services offered, including any guarantees
  3. The website should be clear and legible. Graphics, video and links to other pages should not confuse the user
  4. Return/refund/cancellation policies. If there is limited refund or 'no refund' policy, this should be very clearly communicated to customers before the purchase decision is made
  5. All customer service contact information, for example, e-mail address, telephone numbers (including free-phone numbers, facsimile numbers, etc)
  6. Total price (including any additional charge for delivery) should be displayed with the currency clearly displayed
  7. Website should not advertise or accept orders for goods that you are unable to supply. In particular you should monitor and update your website, removing any items you are unable to supply and offer immediate refunds to cardholders where you are unable to supply goods and the cardholder is unwilling to accept the delay
  8. Website should be consistent with the sale documentation (advertising, brochures, terms and conditions, guarantees, etc) supplied by you on your website
  9. Website should include policy regarding delivery of goods, and inclusive of any restrictions or other special conditions in place.
  10. Data privacy policy should be clearly stated including what type of information is collected, the purpose of collecting the data, when the information is being collected, how the cardholder information is going to be used, to what extent it will be shared in any way with a third party or within the Group and if and how a consumer can restrict the use of their personal information
  11. If merchant provides recurring goods or services, for example, subscriptions, etc and charge a cardholder's account periodically, merchant should obtain a written permission in the format such as hard-copy or electronic record from the cardholder for the goods or services to be charged to the cardholder's account. The written permission should at least specify the transaction amount, frequency of recurring charges and duration of time for which the cardholder's permission is granted. Merchant should retain the written permission for the duration of recurring services. A simple and easily accessible online cancellation procedure should be in place if the cardholder's request for goods or services was initially accepted online
  12. Information about method of transaction security you use to secure cardholder account data during the ordering and payment process should be provided to the consumer. It should include what level and type of security is being used, why it is being used in general, what steps are taken to ensure data quality and access, how it is being held and where, what the consumer will benefit from it, what pages will be secured etc. This information needs to be clear and easy to understand
  13. The payment page should
    • Obtain the cardholder's name, postal address, email, telephone number, card number and expiry date
    • Obtain the cardholder's authority to debit the card
    • Advise that 'care of' and temporarily addresses such as Internet cafes will not be accepted
    • State the despatch date, where payment takes place before despatch
    • State the currency of the transaction
    • State the total transaction amount, including all delivery, handling and tax charges
    • Include the merchant's delivery policy, indicating the ability to support global delivery
    • Display the merchant's refund, replacement and cancellation terms
    • Detail any relevant export restrictions
    • Must include cvv2
    • Contain appropriate security, such that card details input are appropriately encrypted and protected from being hacked into
    • Disclose the location of merchant immediately prior to completion of any payment instruction
  14. When an order and payment has been accepted, a transaction receipt or order confirmation should be provided to the cardholder either by e-mail or post. This should
    • Not show the card number if sent by e-mail
    • Contain the following:
    • A unique identification number to assist in dispute resolution
    • Merchants' trading name and web site address
    • The purchaser's name
    • The amount and currency in euro
    • A description of the goods and services bought
    • The authorisation code for the transaction
    • Merchants' return/refund policy, if restricted
  15. In case of recurring transactions the receipt should also contain the following in addition to the above
    • The phase 'recurring transaction'
    • Details of the frequency of debits
    • The period for which the debits have been agreed

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