New MasterCard and Discover Processing Requirements

This isn’t so much a feature request as it is a required feature that I hope the CS Cart team adds functionality to handle for all the payment processors available in the cart. For those that haven’t seen the new requirements that I’m talking about here they are:

[QUOTE]MasterCard and Discover are modifying their rules concerning the processing of debit, prepaid and gift cards. MasterCard’s rule changes go into effect May 1, 2010, and Discover’s rule changes go into effect April 16, 2010.

What are the requirements?

MasterCard and Discover are requiring that all merchants support the following:

  • Balance response transactions — For prepaid and gift cards, once the card has been used, the remaining account balance will be transmitted along with the authorization response. The remaining balance must be printed on the customer receipt, displayed on the Web page or point-of-sale terminal, or both.

  • Partial authorization transactions — When a customer’s transaction amount exceeds the balance available on their debit, prepaid or gift card, instead of declining the transaction, a partial authorization for the amount available to the customer will be returned. This will allow the customer to pay for the remaining amount with another form of payment. This is called a split-tender transaction.

  • Authorization reversals — An authorization reversal is a real-time transaction initiated when the customer decides that they do not want to proceed with the transaction, or if the merchant cannot complete the transaction for any reason. Authorization reversals free up the customer’s available balance on their debit, prepaid or gift card.

    Do I have to support the requirements?

    MasterCard and Discover are requiring all merchants to support the requirements with the exception of merchants that exclusively process transactions via batch uploads, mail order/telephone order (MOTO), or recurring payment transactions. Your Merchant Service Provider (MSP) is ultimately responsible for determining if the requirements apply to your business, so please contact them for assistance in determining if your company is exempt.


    The requirement that I dislike the most is the “Partial authorization transactions.” Besides the headache of having two or more payment methods in such a case (at least the headache would be dealt with by the cart once CS Cart updates it to comply) we will have to pay transaction fees for each payment method.