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Visa reminder about merchant location and website disclosure requirements

Correct assignment and disclosure of merchant outlet locations is important for cardholders, as it may affect fees, taxes, and shipping times, and it is fundamental to preserving transaction integrity in the payment system. It is critical to ensure that consumers are aware of the merchant’s location, especially as it relates to fees, to avoid consumer complaints about unexpected fees.

Visa Rules state that any e-commerce merchant or marketplace located outside the acquirer’s jurisdiction must be transitioned to an acquirer licensed in the correct country, and all transactions must be assigned the merchant location code appropriate to transactions initiated at each merchant location. Visa applies assessments for noncompliance with the Visa Rules, and Wells Fargo Merchant Services passes those assessments on to non-compliant service providers.

Visa’s Merchant Location Compliance Program monitors merchant data to promote accurate assignment of merchant outlet location and merchant website disclosure to ensure e-commerce merchants and marketplaces correctly and prominently display their merchant location information to the cardholder.

Merchant website requirements

Visa Rules on merchant outlet disclosure requirements for merchant websites state the country of the merchant outletor marketplace must be clearly and prominently displayed in one of the two following ways:

  • On the same screen view as the checkout screen that presents the final transaction amount
  • Within the sequence of web pages the cardholder accesses during the checkout process (a link to a separate web page is not allowed)

The merchant outlet location disclosed to the cardholder must be the location used in the transaction. The merchant must also disclose on its website:

  • The address for cardholder correspondence
  • The customer service email address or telephone number
  • The policy for delivery of multiple shipments
  • The consumer data privacy policy (Europe region only)

Payments acceptance alert 

In addition, a marketplace must:

  • Disclose the country of the marketplace retailer within the sequence of pages that the cardholder accesses during the purchase process (a link to a separate web page does not meet this requirement)
  • Make available to the cardholder, for at least 120 days from the processing date, both of the following:
    • The name of the retailer, the transaction date, and the transaction amount
    • If the retailer is responsible for answering questions about the purchase of the goods, an easy avenue for the cardholder to contact the retailer

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