Website Compliance

Your website is your online shop window to the world, visible to anyone anywhere browsing the net. If your e-commerce business is to prosper and grow, you must make a profound impact by designing a website that is:

  • Appealing to the visitor,
  • Easy and enjoyable to read, one that:
  • Invites and facilitates interaction, and above all:
  • A website that is card-scheme compliant

There can be no show without adherence to the guidelines set forth by the card schemes. Our goal here is to help you deal with the various compliance issues by:

  • Introducing them to you
  • Advising on compliance
  • Presenting useful tips, and
  • Highlighting any possible pitfalls

So a very BIG welcome to website compliance! Compliance is principally about Reducing Risks… To be precise, reducing the Risks of Chargebacks and allegations of fraud. Chargebacks hit your bottomline profits:

  • By Reversing Income previously taken to profit
  • Through Excessive Chargebacks fees by the Acquirers
  • The Imposition of Penalties by the Card Schemes,

And in the worst-case scenario:

  • The Actual Closure of Your Merchant Account Facility, which would ruin your Online Business Altogether.

Chargeback management starts with managing the content of your website, which should comprise:

A Clear Product Description – This will reduce customer dissatisfaction with goods or services purchased. Product information and descriptions should:

  • Use images and photos were possible
  • Avoid deceptive or misleading statements

A Comprehensive Shipping Policy – Detailing the shipping options available, expected delivery timeframes, and associated shipping costs. The shipping options section should:

  • Inform buyers of delivery delays or back-orders
  • Highlight product/service delivery restrictions

* It is advisable not to share tracking numbers or allow the redirection of deliveries to avoid manipulation by fraudsters.

A Concise Refunds, Returns, Cancellation, and Credit Policy – Covering all criteria under which refunds, returns and cancellations are entertained, including timeframes, limitations and conditions. The Policy should clearly outline the procedure for affecting cancellations and returns, and should ensure user comprehension and acceptance of the Policy by providing ‘Accept’ or ‘I Agree’ buttons.

*Keep in mind that an unbalanced, excessively prohibitive returns and cancellation policy could lead to poor customer satisfaction and result in chargebacks.

A Customer Support Link – Online buyers should be provided with a support number, email address or web-form through which they can contact you in order to obtain clarifications or settle disputes which could otherwise result in chargebacks. It is advisable to:

  • Facilitate efficient internal processing by providing different email addresses for offer information, customer support, and shipping/order information
  • Use Auto Responders to acknowledge email inquiries and indicate timing of responses
  • Provide Support information should be visible from home page and any web page that requires e-buyer interaction

*Prolonged responses could lead to customer irritability and subsequent reluctance to resolve disputes before triggering a chargeback.

Terms and Conditions – must be presented in order to fulfil legal disclosure obligations, establish the terms of use under which visitors may use website, and limit liabilities associated with website use. Terms & Conditions should include:

  • Facilitate efficient internal processing by providing different email addresses for offer information, customer support, and shipping/order information
  • A detailed description of all company policies and terms of use.
  • A section that deals with billing practices, where customers are advised when their account would be charged and
  • A clear statement of what the Descriptor appearing on the customer’s bank statements will be.

*Important customer information is often manifested in the small print of a website’s terms and conditions rather than shown clearly and separately for better visibility – safeguard against such a practice.

Required Data Input Fields on the Payment Page – The information collected on the payment page is used to identify the customer and assess a transaction’s fraud risk, and include inter alia the Shoppers’ Cardholder Name and Billing Address, Shipping Name and Address, Email Address, Telephone Numbers, Card Type used, Card Number, Expiry Date, and Verification Code. The payment page should be designed to:

  • Alert inputters when required data fields are incomplete or incorrect
  • Allow shoppers the option to correct previously entered fields
  • Employ controls to prevent duplicate transactions
  • Obtain on the screen customer approval before setting up a recurring charge and provide a clear and easy opt-out facility
  • Avoid the submission of transactions for authorisations before card and cardholder information is validated.

Compliance is also about making e-Commerce an attractive, pleasant, and secure shopping experience. Website Content aimed at ensuring this includes:

Essential Merchant Data on Payment Page – Your payment page should contain:

  • Merchant Name and Logo
  • Price and Transaction Currency of offering
  • Shipping costs and applicable taxes shown separately
  • Security Indicators especially where users are required to enter payment information
  • Accepted Card Types
  • The Descriptor that will appear on the customer bank statement
  • Merchant contact information
  • Links to all relevant Merchant policies
  • When applicable a Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) choice – this gives customers the choice to use either DCC, which in reality might mean less favourable rates when a currency switch is necessary, or pay in vendor’s currency and allow the shopper’s bank to effect the conversion when purchase is settled.

A Privacy Policy on Home Page – this will ease customer concerns about providing personal data by defining the data to be collected and how it will be used. Your Privacy Policy should:

  • Provide customers a facility to opt out
  • Provide a seal of approval

*Without a Privacy Policy, you run a very real risk of losing customer trust and confidence.

Card Scheme Logos – should be clearly presented in the footer of the homepage and on the payments page. The display of the card scheme logos provides confidence that you are duly authorized to accept payments using the world’s most trusted payment brands.

As always, we are always available for further discussion or clarifications in case required. Your feedback is more than welcome.


The Enterpays Team Management

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