Credit Card Merchant Services Laws

By Contributing Writer

Many laws and government agencies enforce credit card merchant services laws. Most commonly credit card merchant services are under the jurisdiction of local, state and federal laws. Credit card merchant services laws are rules and regulations that credit card merchants must adhere to stay compliant with the laws. These laws are designed to protect consumers making purchases with credit cards. When credit card merchant services laws are violated the Federal Trade Commission, among other government agencies, are required to investigate.

Consumer Safeguards

Credit card merchant services laws are consumer safeguards that protect among other things a consumer's private information. Consumers are also granted protection from unauthorized access to their accounts. Violating consumer safeguards is breaking the law. The U.S. Secret Service is the primary agency that investigates and enforces credit card crimes. Criminal activity means laws are being broken. Credit card merchants cannot claim ignorance if they are breaking merchant services laws.

Right To Privacy

Credit card merchant services laws prohibit the requesting and collection of private information from the credit cardholder. It is a violation of the law, for sales associates to demand in any way, that a credit cardholder write his or her phone number or address on the credit slip. Credit card merchant service laws protect consumers from becoming a victim of credit fraud like "Identity Theft.". When credit cardholders' personal information is not protected and kept private, credit fraud cannot be prevented.

No Minimum Purchase

Credit card merchant service laws also protect consumers from minimum purchase requirements. By law there is no minimum purchase requirement when paying with a credit card. When store policy demand that credit cardholders make purchases above a minimum amount, the store is in violation of the law. If a store policy demands a minimum payment for credit card purchases they should be reported to the issuing company of the credit card.

Privacy Violations

When consumers pay for purchases with personal checks, sales associates violate the privacy laws when they request two firms of identification and write a consumer's credit card number on the check. Other credit card merchant service laws include prohibiting merchants for charging consumers more if they pay for purchases with his or her credit card.

Report Violations

Credit card merchant service laws are unfortunately violated every hour of every day. Some credit card merchants depend on the ignorance of the consumer. To report a violation of a credit card merchant service law write to or call the issuing company of the credit card. Provide details of the allege violation and copies of supporting documents.