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What you should know about your credit card processing agreement

To accept credit and debit cards at your business, you must sign a contract with a processor. That contract, often called a merchant agreement, details the practices and policies you (and every other business that accepts credit and debit cards) must abide by to accept cards. The following are prohibited according to merchant agreements: 

  • Personal information – A business cannot require customers to give their phone numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers or any other personal information as a condition of making a purchase with a credit card. You may request this information from a customer, however, he/she has the right to decline your request and cannot be prevented from paying with his/her card because of that refusal.
  • Fees for credit card purchases – Your business cannot charge fees to customers using credit cards. However, the credit card companies would allow you to offer discounts to customers paying with cash or check.
  • Cash refunds Your business must credit returns through the credit card that was originally used to purchase the item being returned. It is prohibited to offer cash or check refunds to customers who paid with a credit or debit card.

Each processor provides a manual to new customers describing all its policies. Pick up this manual regularly for a refresher – you’ll be glad you did! If you have questions about this article or any other concern with regard to credit card processing, call our credit card processing experts Michele or Nicholl at (800) 442-3589.