Updated Guidelines on Merchant and ISO Underwriting and Risk Monitoring Help Prevent Fraudulent Merchants from Accepting Electronic Payments

Washington, D.C. – The Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), the global trade association representing the payments technology world, today released its updated ETA Guidelines on Merchant and ISO Underwriting and Risk MonitoringThe Guidelines are voluntary best practices for the acquiring industry to use in onboarding and oversight of merchant clients. The first edition of the Guidelines was published in 2014 to help ETA members detect and preventfraudulent merchants from accessing the nation’s payments systems.  The guidelines are available free to ETA member companies here.

“As law enforcement agencies pursue fraudulent merchants, they are also holding payment processors responsible for stopping merchants from harming consumers,” said Jason Oxman, ETA CEO.  ”Although our industry should not be held responsible for law enforcement, ETA members are committed to combating fraud, and these updated guidelines provide  helpful tools to monitor merchants and investigate irregular or suspicious activity.”

Important new additions to the 2016 updated Guidelines include:

  • Guidance on how ETA members may monitor attempts to conceal interrelated companies or true owners of companies.
  • Recommendations for reviewing offer terms and conditions for merchants that engage in negative option marketing.
  • Underwriting guidance to address a variety of merchant types that have been the target of law enforcement action including consumer lending, payday lending, debt collection, debt relief services, fraudulent fundraising, and payment aggregators/facilitators.
  • Recommendations on moving an ISO portfolio from one processor or acquirer to another.
  • Guidance on use of non-traditional partners or third party agents.  This provides tools to help the ETA member understand the third party agents and partners subcontracted for sales functions.

For questions on the Guidelines, please contact Amy Zirkle, azirkle@electran.org.

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