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NMA Educates

Website Content 101

NMA Educates

Website Content 101

At National Merchants Association (NMA), we are deeply committed to advocating for merchants and partners of all types, and providing them with the tools and resources they need to thrive in an ever-evolving payments ecosystem.

The NMA Educates Series is designed to provide helpful, insightful and informative materials to assist the businesses we serve in navigating the world of payments. This is part 1 of 2 in a series related to web site content.

Help! Underwriting said my website didn’t meet all criteria.

Being told your website needs adjustments can be difficult. As a busy business owner, it can be challenging to find the time and/or resources to invest in a site that is both aesthetically pleasing, functional and in compliance.

However, in order to succeed as a merchant that consumers and governing bodies can trust, your website has to meet several key requirements. Here, we’ll go through basic guidelines for all websites outlined by our Underwriting and Quality Control departments. Adhere to these requirements, and you’ll be on your way to an approval in no time!

Active URL (no redirecting)

When visitors and consumers visit your site, they shouldn’t be redirected to another site. The link consumers enter into their browsers or click on from a third-party site should match where they land once they get to the site. This is important so the customer knows exactly who they’re shopping with through the process.

DBA or Legal Name Matches

It is imperative that the name listed on your site is the actual, legal or DBA (doing business as) name shown on your business license and on-record with NMA. This information should appear in the footer of the site and on the Contact Us page.

Address Match

Your company address should appear on your website somewhere – typically on the Contact Us page or toward the bottom. The address listed on the site must match the corporate/legal or DBA address on file with NMA.

Customer Service Contact

In order to demonstrate your trustworthiness as a merchant, your email and/or phone number should be clearly visible to consumers/site visitors. This information should appear in the footer of the site and on the Contact Us page so that customers know where to go if they need assistance. It is essential that customers can easily reach your customer service representatives with questions, concerns etc.

Published Refund/Return Policy (in accordance with card brand rules)

Major card brands work tirelessly to ensure customers do not fall victim to deceptive shopping experiences. As such, publishing your refund/return policy for public viewing is crucial. This policy must be clearly visible to all site visitors and must be in accordance with card brand rules.

Privacy Policy (in accordance with card brand rules)

In addition to being deeply invested in non-deceptive practices, card brands are also dedicated to ensuring that consumer privacy is maintained at all times.

Privacy policies should include:

  • Data use and protection
  • Confidentiality and privacy standards. Examples:
    • Collection of information
    • Age is 18 or above
    • Use of personal information
    • Opt-out option
    • Third-party disclosure of privacy police (if applicable)

Delivery Policies (in accordance with card brand rules)

Delivery policies are essential to establishing trust with consumers, NMA and card brands. The policies surrounding the ways in which products/services will be delivered must be published within your site according to card brand rules.

Terms and Conditions (in accordance with card brand rules):

Terms and conditions may be commonly overlooked by many consumers, but they are not so easily dismissed by NMA’s underwriting team or card brands. Terms and conditions are rules by which one must agree to abide in order to use a service. These should be provided to consumers so they understand any and all stipulations that may be associated with using your site, placing an order, etc.

  • You must have two opportunities for consumers to utilize a checkbox to indicate their understanding of the terms and conditions – one prior to proceeding to the checkout page, and one on the checkout page.
    • These must be checked by the consumer and cannot be pre-checked for convenience.
  • Terms & conditions should cover:
    • FDA disclaimer
    • Terms of the product details with pricing or package breakdown
    • Billing cycle and recurring billing
    • Shipping, cancelation, return/refund policies & information (address or contact details)
    • Terms of service
    • Descriptor

Card Brand Logos or Card Brand Dropdown Box

On your checkout page, card brand logos or a dropdown box showing all accepted payment methods must appear.

Secure Checkout Page

Ensuring safety and security of customer data is essential to the underwriting process. Your site must have a minimum of SLL 128bit encryption/1024 bit exchange. If not, it will not be approved.

The guidelines above should give you a starting point for creating and editing your website. In coming weeks, NMA will outline the various requirements for nutra sites and provide a more in-depth look at the role your company site plays in the underwriting process.