Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Credit Card Payment Processing Guidelines

Credit Card Payment Processing GuidelinesPayment acceptance needs to be done in accordance with a set of rules established by the credit card associations and companies that are required of all retailers, operating both in face-to-face and non-face-to-face setting. Following is a list of credit card payment processing guidelines that merchants need to comply with.

Card Expiration Date

Merchants should always check the expiration date on the face of the presented card. It is valid all the way through the last day of the month shown on the card. If it has expired, the retailer is not allowed to accept it for payment and will need to call its credit card payment processing provider's authorization center.

Signature on Card

The card acceptor needs to verify that the card is signed within the signature panel on its back and validate that the cardholder name on the back of the card is identical with the name shown on the front of it.

If the presented card is not signed, the merchant needs to request two identification documents, at least one of which contains a picture of the cardholder. When the retailer has confirmed that the customer presenting the card is in fact the authorized cardholder, the customer needs to be asked to sign the back of the card.

Transaction Authorization Approval

If the merchant account user is processing face-to-face charges electronically, it will have to transmit the entire data contained in the magnetic stripe, along with their transaction authorization request by a swipe of the bank card through the point-of-sale (POS) terminal. If the POS device cannot read the magnetic stripe information and the retailer is forced to resort to keying the payment details in to request authorization, it will have to also take a manual imprint of the face of the card as proof of its presence. If the credit card payment processing account user fails to obtain a manual imprint for any one of its keyed payments, the issuer will have full recourse for the transaction.

Whenever the POS device is unable to connect to the issuer's electronic authorization system, the retailer should contact its processor's voice authorization center.

For transactions for merchandise or services that are shipped or provided or alternatively for payments made to the merchant more than thirty days after the order is placed, the retailer will need to obtain an authorization approval at the time the order is placed and then again right before it ships the item or provides the services to the customer.

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