October Card Brand Updates & Important Reminders

On October 19, 2019, we updated our systems to reflect the October association updates. The card brands made minimal pricing and compliance changes with this release, and there were no noteworthy changes that impacted Clearent, our Sales teams, partners, or our merchants.

Reminder: Authorizations Required on Credit & Debit Returns/Refunds

As a reminder, the card brands now require authorizations on credit and debit returns/refunds. However, not all POS equipment currently supports authorizations for returns/refunds. If merchants process on POS equipment that supports this functionality, they should start performing authorizations immediately if they have not done so already.

Importance of EMV & PCI Compliance

As security increases in the payments industry, older POS terminals are no longer compliant and are unable to support new PCI compliance requirements mandated by the card brands. It’s imperative all merchants use the most up to date EMV-capable terminals and terminal applications or POS software to ensure they meet PCI compliance requirements. Merchants who have not yet upgraded to an EMV-enabled terminal are encouraged to do so immediately. Not only will upgrading speed up checkout times by removing the requirement to obtain a signature, but it will also help safeguard the merchant from the liability of fraudulent transactions.

New Receipt Requirements

Last fall, Visa and Discover removed the requirement for signatures at all EMV contact and contactless-enabled terminals. MasterCard and American Express removed the signature requirement for all transactions conducted within the U.S. However, a merchant may optionally continue to request a signature from their customers if they choose.

On October 19, 2019, Visa updated their receipt requirements to allow for increased flexibility for merchants, acquirers, payment facilitators, and terminal vendors.

  • The threshold for when an unattended card activated terminal must provide a receipt was increased to $25 globally. A receipt is not required for transactions less than $25. This will help reduce costs and promote expanded acceptance in new and growing industries, such as parking, vending machines and electric vehicle charging.

  • For face-to-face transactions at Charity merchants using contactless only terminals (where permitted), a transaction receipt is not required regardless of the transaction amount. The merchant can choose whether to provide a paper or electronic copy of the receipt.

  • For all other attended card activated terminal merchants using contactless terminals (where permitted), the merchant has the option of providing only electronic receipts if a receipt is requested by the cardholder.

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