The ability to accept credit card payments is essential to the success of your business. When you begin accepting the “plastic” payments, you have more responsibilities than you may know. There are rules in place that merchant account holders must follow. Visa and MasterCard have specific rules and regulations. Your payment processor also has terms and conditions for you. If you do not adhere to the rules, you will find yourself on the MATCH or TMF list. The following information will help you understand the basic rules for merchant account holders.
Ensure that there is always enough money in your account to cover all fees. Some fees are charged at the beginning of the month and if you cannot cover the fees, you may have problems with your processor.
If your business is booming and you believe you may go over the monthly limit and/or average ticket that you initially stated on your merchant account application, contact your provider to find out how to increase your limits.
Only process transactions for your own business, processing transactions for other business, known as laundering or factoring, is illegal.
Display only the card logos of the credit cards that you accept. Remember that you must accept all cards that fall within each category you accepted, such as credit and debit cards.
You cannot charge your credit card customers a surcharge on their payments. However, you can offer a discount to those customers that pay cash.
Make sure your chargeback ratio stays within the limits, normally about 2 percent with Visa and MasterCard
You cannot have minimum and/or maximum dollar amount for your credit card customers. In other words, you cannot tell your customers that they must purchase at least X amount of dollars in order to use a credit card. Nor can you tell them that they cannot charge more than X amount of dollars.