Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Non-Profit Credit Card Processing Requirements

Non-Profit Credit Card Processing RequirementsNon-profit credit card processing rules mandate that organizations should accept for donations payments made with any types of payment cards whose brands they have contracted to process at the time they signed the merchant agreement with their acquiring bank. Non-profits are jointly liable for the contractual obligations under the merchant account agreement they sign with their processor, for all of their locations.

Non-Profit Credit Card Processing Requirements

Non-profit organizations are not allowed to:
  • Post signs or otherwise state or suggest that they prefer, in a direct or indirect manner, any brand of payment products over another brand, provided they honor both.
  • Attempt to convince cardholders against using a given card.
  • Criticize or otherwise damage the reputation of a card brand or any of the brand's services or programs.
  • Attempt to convince a customer to use any kind of payment products over other types (for example cash, check, etc.).
  • Place any type of restrictions, conditions, disadvantages, fees or charges when a card is accepted for payment that are not imposed identically on all other kinds of payment products. There is an exception made for ACH funds transfer, checks or cash.
  • Engage in activities that damage the payment card business or brand.
  • Market any particular payment product (excepting the retailer's own private label bank card that they issue to customers for use solely at their establishments) more vigorously than the merchant markets the other brands.
Retailers are permitted to advertise rebates from their everyday prices for payments made in cash, by check or by ACH funds transfer, provided they plainly disclose all of the terms of the proposal (that is the everyday and lowered prices) to customers and that any such rebate advertised applies equally to users of all payment products.

Every time payment types are communicated to customers, or whenever consumers ask what kinds of payments are accepted, the non-profit credit card processing rules require organizations to indicate that they accept all types of cards listed in their agreement, according to the detailed guidelines of each brand, marketed as prominently and in the same manner for all payment products.

The non-profit is not allowed to use the marks of the Credit Card Associations (Visa and MasterCard) and Companies (Discover and American Express) in any fashion that may damage or otherwise diminish the goodwill of the particular company's logo or mark, nor are they permitted to indicate that the payment brand endorses the merchant's products or services sold. The merchant must only use the logos and marks as is explicitly needed to perform their functions under the contractual agreement and have to stop using them upon the termination of the agreement.

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