Card Payment Rules Questions and Answers

What are the Visa and MasterCard regulations?

Visa and MasterCard publish merchant editions on their web site at Visa Operating Rules and Regulations and MasterCard Worldwide Operating Rules. Also, click here for a copy of our Card Acceptance Guide. This easy-to-use guide offers best practices for accepting card payments and is an integral part of your merchant agreement.

What is PCI?

Short for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) which sets out requirements to protect card data from compromise. Please reference, and PCI Compliance for more information regarding PCI.

Is a minimum sale amount allowed on a card payment?

Yes, according to new card acceptance rule changes under the Dodd-Frank Act. Given that these rules only impact credit and not debit you may want to ask your customers for the favor of limiting card use for small transactions.

Can I add a surcharge fee when my customers pay by credit card?

Offering your customer a cash discount is the accepted method. The states that prohibit surcharging credit card sales include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas. For others, read the regulations when card payment surcharges are allowed at Card Usage Surcharges.

Can I opt out of accepting credit card transactions and only accept debit cards?

Yes, In the Visa Check / MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation settlement, merchants won the ability to opt out of accepting either credit or debit transactions.

When is "no signature required" from my customers?

Visa and MasterCard both offer programs for select merchant industries providing chargeback protection and allowing the flexibility of no signature required on qualifying transactions under $25. Merchant categories include grocery and convenience stores, fast food restaurants, pharmacies, parking lots, movie theaters and others.

What are the rules for truncating or masking the numbers on my credit card receipts?

There are federal laws, various state laws and association rules which require merchants to truncate the cardholder copy of receipts. Read more at Card Number Truncation.

What is AVS and CVV?

Address Verification Service (AVS) is a fraud prevention service developed to help merchants by comparing the address information that the cardholder provides to what is on record for that credit card number at the issuing bank. The Card Verification Value is typically used to help verify that the customer actually has the card in their possession. Read more at Address Verification Service and Card Verification Value.