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Issuing Credit Card Receipts? Truncate!

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on February 19, 2010 3:02 PM

Is your business thinking of accepting credit or debit cards for transactions? 

Consumer privacy is a very big issue these days. Credit card information, as well as other personal information, is rampantly available and the availability can cause consumers to fear for the safety of their credit history. Credit card identity theft is a very big problem for consumers as well as for businesses. 

Some businesses accept credit cards online via a system like Paypal or Google Checkout. And while these methods seemingly alleviate all liability for the business, you can never be too safe these days, especially in light of certain pieces of law know as the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act

First of all, if you are thinking of accepting credit card payments, look at the method you plan to use. Will you be taking the cards in person or by phone? Or will the entire transaction be online?

You need to ask yourself these questions because some rules depend on how you issue receipts. 

For example, if you issue any form of electronic receipt for a debit card or credit card transaction, you need to take a good look at your clients' receipts. You are allowed to show no more than the last five digits of their card number, or their expiration date, on the receipt that you provide at the point of sale of that transaction. 

This is important because the sanctions for violation can be heavy. Very heavy, in fact.  The injured party can sue for damages under multiple theories. 

This is just one of many areas involving consumer credit transactions and credit card identity theft. It's a fairly developing area of law and there are constant changes.  It pays to read on these issues and to keep up to date. The price-tag on staying in the dark is just too high. 

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