Mastercard And Discover Relax Requirements for Debit and Pre-paid Cards

Back in April, I wrote about Mastercard And Discover Requiring New Rules when it came to debit and pre-paid credit cards. They set deadlines that have already passed, although Authorize.net got this deadline extended until June 30, 2011.

These new rules added requirements for:

  • showing a balance to customers using gift cards, debit, or pre-paid cards.
  • providing  partial approvals when the balance on a card is exceeded.
  • merchants to be able to reverse a charge right away if the balance on a card is exceeded and the customer does not want to complete the sale.

Two out of three requirements are now optional

In a recent email, Authorize.net sent its merchants the following:

RECENTLY MASTERCARD AND DISCOVER RELAXED THE REQUIREMENTS FOR E-COMMERCE MERCHANTS SO THAT SUPPORT FOR PARTIAL AUTHORIZATIONS AND BALANCE RESPONSES ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED, BUT RECOMMENDED BEST PRACTICES. All retail and mobile merchants, however, must still support the requirements.

Additionally, all merchants are still required to support authorization reversals for any non-settled authorizations. The deadline for all Authorize.Net merchants to support the requirements is still June 30, 2011.

The email went on to say that Authorize.net will still provide support for all 3 rules, and encourages all merchants and software vendors to provide support for them as well.

So what does this mean?

Based on the email and change of heart from Mastercard / Discover (I’m sure they got lots of feedback about the monumental task to fully support balances and partial auths in every shopping cart), the only real change is your gateway / processing solution must now be able to reverse a charge if the charge causes a card to go over its limit.

This allows card owners to have their funds immediately freed so they are not waiting days or weeks for a hold to expire.

Authorize.net has an extensive FAQ that covers these new rules, and a timeline for full support in their gateway.

RECENTLY MASTERCARD AND DISCOVER RELAXED THE REQUIREMENTS FOR E-COMMERCE
MERCHANTS SO THAT SUPPORT FOR PARTIAL AUTHORIZATIONS AND BALANCE RESPONSES
ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED, BUT RECOMMENDED BEST PRACTICES. All retail and
mobile merchants, however, must still support the requirements.

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