Below are some common Visa Rules questions. If you have a question about a Visa rule that is not addressed below, please contact Visa at VisaRules@visa.com. Please note that the Visa Rules change from time. If there is a discrepancy between the information contained in these Frequently Asked Questions and the Visa Rules, the Visa Rules will apply. For additional requirements, refer to the Visa acceptance agreement between you and your acquirer.
Q. Can I require a minimum purchase amount for a Visa card transaction?
A. In general, a merchant is not permitted to establish a minimum or maximum amount for a Visa transaction. However, exceptions apply in the U.S. and U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. In those locations and only for credit cards, a merchant may require a minimum transaction amount of US $10 and government agencies and education merchants may establish any maximum transaction amount.
Q. When do I need to provide a receipt for a Visa transaction?
A. In general, a merchant must provide a receipt for all Visa transactions. However, if the transaction is below a certain amount, the merchant is only required to provide a receipt upon the cardholder’s request. In addition, the merchant is not required to provide a receipt for a low-value transaction at an unattended terminal, such as a vending machine. For more information, please contact your Visa acquirer.
Q. Can I add a surcharge to the purchase amount when accepting a Visa card?
A. In general, no. Surcharging is currently permitted in Australia, Mexico, and New Zealand, and on certain credit card transactions in the U.S.
Surcharging isn't allowed everywhere in the U.S. Currently, there are laws limiting surcharging in Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas. California's and New York's laws limiting surcharging have been enjoined from enforcement pursuant to court orders, but appeals are pending. An order upholding Florida's law limiting surcharging was reversed on appeal, but remains subject to further litigation.
Q. Can I charge a convenience fee for accepting a Visa card?
A. In certain countries, for example Russia, the U.S., and some countries in Asia, a merchant is permitted to charge a convenience fee to the customer. The fee must be a flat fee (not a percentage of the transaction amount), clearly disclosed, and represent payment for the convenience of paying through an alternate payment channel (such as online) that is different than the merchant’s normal payment channel (for example sending a check through the mail or paying in person).
For more information, please contact your Visa acquirer.
Q. Can I charge a service fee for accepting a Visa card?
A. Certain merchants (for example, government, education) in Canada, Egypt, Russia, and the U.S. are permitted to assess fixed or variable service fees on Visa Card transactions.
Q. Can I give cash to the customer as part of a Visa transaction?
A. In certain countries (Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, U.S.) a merchant is permitted to provide cash-back as part of a Visa transaction, under specific circumstances and on certain card types (for example, debit cards). Cash-back is only permitted when the Visa card was issued in the same country as the merchant location. For more information, please contact your Visa acquirer.
Q. Can I use a Visa card to guarantee the return of rental items such as equipment, videos, or other items?
A. Generally, Visa is a method of payment and not a method of collection or enforcement of a contract. However, under specific conditions, certain merchant types (lodging, rental [vehicle, bicycle, boat, equipment, motor home, motorcycle, truck/trailer] and trailer parks/campgrounds) may accept a guaranteed reservation (where the cardholder provides a Visa account number but no payment at the time of the reservation to ensure that accommodation, merchandise, or services will be available as reserved and agreed with the merchant). For more information, please contact your Visa acquirer.
Q. What do I do if the chip on a Visa card cannot be read?
A. You should attempt to read the magnetic stripe on the card. If the magnetic stripe cannot be read, you can decline to accept the card or manually key-enter the account number into the terminal. Note, however that you may be subject to a chargeback on a manually-keyed transaction.