Accepting Visa Cards
Before you begin accepting Visa, be sure to follow these guidelines:
- All Visa accepting merchants have a responsibility to adhere to all federal and state laws. As it relates to accepting Visa products, merchants must accept Visa products for legal transactions only.
- Merchants that sell age-restricted products, such as alcohol and tobacco, must have in place processes and controls to ensure that all associated laws are honored.
- Merchants should be aware that possession of a Visa card or submission of Visa account information does not signify that the cardholder is of legal age to purchase age-restricted products.
- The issuance of Visa cards is not restricted to individuals over 18 years of age.
After signing a merchant agreement to accept Visa cards:
You should accept all Visa cards, irrespective of which bank issued them. Banks right around the world offer their customers a range of different Visa cards. This includes Visa Classic, Visa Gold, Visa Platinum, Visa Signature, Visa Infinite, Unembossed Visa, Visa Electron, Visa Business and Visa Purchasing cards - as well as cards issued in conjunction with other major corporations.
Display approved promotional materials
To show cardholders that you accept Visa cards, your bank will provide a range of decals and other promotional materials. You should display these where cardholders can see them. Clear and visible signage increases cardholder awareness and drives usage and sales. Doors and cash registers are effective locations for signage, as well as store windows and counters. Research has shown that good signage does influence consumer spending behavior and can lead to significant increased revenues.
Do not set minimums and maximums, and do not surcharge
You should not set value limits or impose a surcharge as a condition for accepting payment by Visa cards. Doing so can damage your relationship with your own customers and you may also lose new sales opportunities. Visa's research has shown that many cardholders won't do business with merchants who require minimum purchases on their Visa cards.
Include taxes in the sales draft
If you are required to collect local taxes, these should be included in the total transaction, as it appears on the sales draft. You should not collect these separately - as cash, for example. Many customers need to have records of the taxes they pay for goods and services, so showing the tax amount as a separate item on the sales draft is a service they will appreciate.
Do not offer cash refunds for Visa transactions
You must not give cash refunds for returned goods or cancelled services. Offering Visa refund vouchers for returns and adjustments protects you from loss through fraud. A dishonest person, using a stolen or counterfeit card, could purchase goods and return them for cash. When the legitimate cardholder complains about card misuse, the transaction maybe charged back to your bank who may consider charging it back to you. If that happened you would lose the sale and the cash you have refunded.
Don't store data unless absolutely necessary, and if you need to, encrypt it
All merchants and processors participating in the Visa payment system that store, process or transmit Visa cardholder account and/or transaction information must meet the minimum data security requirements as defined by the Account Information Security program.