Mastercard’s New Policy Will Stop Automatic Billing After Free Trial Elapses


Chances are that you’ve once wanted to sign up for a free trial and the company requested for your credit or debit card information. This usually goes either of two ways, you continue and provide said information or you quickly close the browser tab and move on with your life.

If you choose to sign up for the service, it is not unheard of for you to forget about it only to get a charge on your statement over a service you have not used ever since the trial period ended. Mastercard wants to change this by giving users more control over companies that automatically start charging for a service once a trial period is over.

Mastercard has introduced a new policy that will see companies compelled to alert you before the trial period ends and get explicit permission from you before proceeding to charge your card for the service.

To implement this, the company will be required to send the cardholder an email or text notification bearing the transaction amount, payment date, merchant name as well as instructions on how to cancel the trial.

On top of this, the merchant will also be required to send a receipt for each transaction, either by text or email. The receipt must contain instructions on how to cancel the service as well as the merchant website or the phone number of the store where the cardholder made the purchase.

“Free trial offers can be a legitimate and useful way to increase sales and improve consumer satisfaction. The new rules will help in increase transparency and ensure an outstanding experience for cardholders,” said Mastercard in a statement.

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