As a result of Visa’s 2021 audit, merchants across the country have found themselves being charged hefty fines for being in violation of Visa’s rules and regulations. Violations of this sort are often inadvertent and come from a place of misunderstanding. It’s important for merchants, especially those who are underrepresented and lack proper resources, to be aware of the regulations they must follow.
The violations were in relation to Visa’s minimum and surcharge regulations. These rules are:
Businesses are allowed to implement credit card minimums but the minimum amount cannot exceed $10.
This minimum cannot be imposed on debit purchases, so cardholders paying by debit do not have to pay a minimum.
Credit card minimums must be disclosed to customers. This can be done through a sign near the register and by verbally telling customers that you have a minimum before payment.
Disregarding any of the above rules could result in fines or other consequences. Visa Violations are taken very seriously, with the potential to have merchants placed on the MATCH list, where they will be considered high-risk and unable to accept credit card payments. These violation reports are typically submitted by cardholders so it’s very important that the communication between merchant and customer is transparent. Merchants who find themselves in violation must take action immediately to rectify it. Visa accepts merchant appeals up to 30 days after a non-compliance assessment is received. The appeal needs to be supported by evidence in the form of receipts, pictures of signage, store policy, and other proof of proper conduct. Merchants also have to sign an agreement that they will no longer violate any rules or regulations and are susceptible to re-audits to ensure that they are complying.
In cases like these, having a trustworthy payment processing company is valuable. A merchant's processing company can act as a negotiator between the merchant and Visa and can help compile and submit proof. Having a strong and lasting relationship with a processing company provides security when dealing with such payment-related issues. Please speak with a UP sales representative if you have any questions.
For more information about Visa’s rules and regulations, you can visit:
To reach out directly to Visa, you may contact: