Asked Questions > Proper Transaction
Visa & MasterCard Regulations
All merchants are required to adhere to
MasterCard and Visa regulations when accepting
these cards as a form of payment. BankCard
USA is committed to keeping our customers
informed of these regulations through a
variety of methods. The Merchant Bankcard
Services Agreement discloses requirements
compliant with MasterCard and Visa regulations.
Also, look for messages on your monthly
processing statements as well as general
mailings. Additional information is available
in BankCard USA publications such as the
Discount Rate Tier Requirements quick reference
sheet and the Chargeback & Retrieval
Guidelines brochure, all part of the Merchant
Services Guide. Listed below are steps to
assist our merchants in complying with MasterCard
and Visa regulations when processing transactions.
- Check the valid date and the expiration
date of the card and only accept cards
that are between the two dates.
- Compare the embossed account number
on the card to the account number displayed
in the terminal, printed on the receipt
from the terminal, and indented on the
signature panel on the back of the card.
Pick up any card where the account number
comparisons do not match and call the
authorization center for further instructions.
- Obtain an authorization number for every
transaction regardless of the dollar amount
and record the complete authorization
number on the sales draft. The authorization
request must be for the full amount of
- Contact the voice authorization center
with a “Code 10” request when suspicious
about the authenticity of any card and/or
- Obtain the cardholder’s signature on
the sales draft. Compare the signature
on the sales draft with the signature
on the back panel of the card. If the
card is unsigned, require the cardholder
to sign the card and ask for additional
identification to verify the signature.
The words “See I.D.” in the signature
panel is not considered a valid signature.
- Obtain a manual imprint of the card
if the card’s magnetic stripe is unreadable
through the terminal. The card information
may be keyed into the terminal to complete
the transaction; however, a manual imprint
must be obtained to prove the card was
physically present during the transaction.
- Do not complete a transaction if the
card is not physically presented by the
cardholder. This excludes merchants that
are authorized by BankCard USA to conduct
mail order, telephone order, or electronic
- Retain all cardholder information for
no less than three (3) years from the
transaction date. Store all cardholder
information in a secure manner to prevent
access by unauthorized persons and destroy
all sales drafts only after the three
(3) year period in a manner that renders
the information unreadable.
- Include the following information on
all sales drafts:
- Business Name
- Business Location and/or website address
- Transaction Amount
- Transaction Date
- Card Number
- Card Expiration Date
- Cardholder’s name and/or signature
- Authorization Code
- Description of merchandise or services
- Present the cardholder with a completed
copy of the sales draft upon completion
of the transaction.
- Do not split a single transaction into
multiple transactions to avoid any type
of authorization request. This may occur
in a deposit and balance situation. In
this case, the words “deposit” and “balance”
must be notated on each applicable sales
draft. This also does not apply for separate
items placed on separate sales drafts
if a separate authorization is obtained
for each item or if multiple cards are
presented for one transaction and a separate
authorization is obtained for each separate
- Do not impose a surcharge to the customer
due to use of a MasterCard or Visa card
for payment. A discount from the regular
price may be offered for payment in cash.
- Do not establish or post signs to indicate
minimum or maximum transaction amounts
below or above which the customer may
not be able to use a MasterCard or Visa
card for payment.
- Do not sell, purchase, provide, exchange,
or otherwise publish cardholder names
or account information in any form obtained
by reason of a MasterCard or Visa transaction.
- Do not require the cardholder to record
any card account information on an exterior
portion of any order form to be mailed
by the cardholder.
- Do not charge a MasterCard or Visa card
for any transaction representing a cardholder’s
existing debt that has been deemed to
be uncollectible or has arisen from the
dishonor of a cardholder’s personal check.
- Do not charge a cardholder for incidental
charges such as damages to hotel rooms
or rental cars without the cardholder’s
prior written authorization upon discovery.
- Credit cards are not to be used for
age verification. Authorized credit card
usage can be issued to all age groups.
* The authorized amount may be lower than
the actual transaction amount by 15% only
for hotel or car rental agency merchants.