Friday, August 14, 2009

Obtaining an Authorization for Hotel, Cruise Line, and Car Rental Transactions

The following information and requirements are relevant to merchants obtaining authorizations for hotel / motel, cruise line, and car rental transactions.
  • Authorization procedures. Hotel, motel, car rental, and cruise line merchants must comply with the standard authorization procedures and the requirements set out below.
  • Initiating the transaction. When the transaction is initiated, the merchant must request an authorization for an estimated transaction amount if the estimate exceeds the applicable floor limit. The merchant also may request an authorization for any additional estimated amounts as needed.Merchants engaging in car rental transactions may not include charges representing either:
    • The vehicle insurance deductible amount, or
    • An amount to cover potential damages when the cardholder waives insurance coverage at the time of the rental.

    • Car rental merchants must disclose to the cardholder at the time of the rental the amount for which the authorization was obtained.

    Charges for damages must be processed as a separate transaction. The merchant must provide a reasonable estimate of the cost to repair the damages and obtain agreement from the cardholder. If the cardholder chooses to pay for the repairs using his or her card, the merchant must:

    • Prepare a specific sales slip with proof of card presence.
    • Provide the estimated amount for repairs indicating that the amount will be adjusted accordingly pursuant to completion of the repairs and submission of the invoice for such repairs.
    • Obtain a signature from the cardholder.

    • The final transaction amount may not exceed the merchant's estimated amount by more than 15% (or less, as directed by local ordinances). The merchant must submit a credit if the final cost of repairs is less than the estimated amount on the sales slip and has 30 days from the date of the subsequent transaction related to damages to submit the item into clearing.

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