January 21st, 2010 by Jamie Estep
You cannot require an ID for a Visa transaction???
After reading an article this morning, the author states that merchant’s are prohibited from asking for an ID to process a transaction. Sounding completely ridiculous, I decided to further investigate.
I stumbled on a Visa operating regulation that I was not aware of. “You cannot require an ID in order to complete a Credit transaction.” Furthermore, you cannot decline or refuse a transaction if your customer refuses to provide an ID.
Although Visa rules do not preclude merchants from asking for cardholder ID, merchants cannot make an ID a condition of acceptance. Therefore, merchants cannot refuse to complete a purchase transaction because a cardholder refuses to provide ID. Visa believes merchants should not ask for ID as part of their regular card acceptance procedures.
The author was completely wrong as far as MasterCard goes, who takes a different approach to the situation…
For unique transactions processed in a face-to-face environment (with the exception of truck stop transactions and card-read transactions where a non-signature CVM is used), request personal identification of the cardholder in the form of an unexpired, official government document. Compare the signature on the personal identification with the signature on the card.
American express is a little vague, but still states that the identity should be verified…
Verify that the customer is the Card-member. Cards are not transferable.
It’s actually hard for me to believe that Visa goes this far in trying to protect their cardholder’s convenience at the expense of their merchants being exposed to potential fraud. I strongly recommend checking the ID of every card holder. No regulation prevents a merchant from asking for an ID, and I can’t imagine a customer seriously refusing under any normal circumstance. Merchants are not allowed to ask for an ID on “PIN” debit transactions where a customer enters their PIN number into a pinpad. For signature debit, where the card is processed like a credit card, treat the transaction just like credit and ask for an ID.
Discover’s site requires registration, and I was unable to register with the Discover numbers of the 4 merchant accounts that we have. If anyone has a copy of Discover operating regulations, I would love to see them.