MasterCard Europe today announced the introduction of a number of improvements for pre-authorized transactions applicable as of November 2013 in the Europe Region. As pre-authorization volumes continue to grow fueled by a steady growth of international travel and e-commerce, MasterCard takes the lead and designs new rules to proactively address existing problems with pre-authorizations.
A ‘pre-authorization’ is an authorization for a transaction to be completed at a later time, typically used by hotels, car hire companies and companies that sell goods on-line. Pre-authorizations provide flexibility and an extended payment guarantee to the companies that use them, but they can also be intransparent, confusing, and inconvenient for cardholders. Today, when cardholders want to book a hotel room or buy goods on the internet, funds are often blocked on their card until the cardholder leaves the hotel or until the purchased goods are delivered.
MasterCard’s new set of rules seek to increase the transparency and convenience of pre-authorizations for both consumers and merchants. They seek to ensure that:
– The cardholder is always informed of the amount to be pre-authorized before he or she agrees with using his/her card;
– Any unecessary block on the cardholders’s account balance or credit line is always released within 24 hours of the transaction being finalized, cancelled or completed with a different card;
– The amount blocked on the cardholder’s account or credit line does not exceed the pre-authorized amount.
The new MasterCard rules directly benefit cardholders. Merchants also benefit from the improved transparency and from fewer transactions being un-necessarily declined by the card issuer.
“MasterCard is focussed on delivering increased value for every payment transaction”, said Gaetano Carboni, Group Executive, Global Products and Solutions at MasterCard Europe. “The MasterCard processing network is unique and offers flexible capabilities that allows us to provide more convenience and security, as well as innovation and speed at checkout to the benefit of our customers, merchants, business partners, governments and the communities we serve around the world.”
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