Scheme Reference Data

Mandatory Change - Scheme Reference Data

The Card Schemes (Visa and MasterCard) have mandated that from 1st April 2014, a unique reference number must be flowed throughout the lifecycle of all card transactions. Visa refers to this data as the Transaction Identification Number, whilst MasterCard refers to it as the Trace Identification Number. Generically this data is referred to as Scheme Reference Data.

If you use your own equipment or a Payment Service Provider (PSP) to accept card payments, you will need to upgrade your systems to comply with the mandate and flow this data. The below Q&As will provide further information and we have also put together the attached Technical Specification Document which details the changes you need to make.

This is the term used by Visa to describe the unique Scheme Reference Data that now needs to flow for each successful authorisation and corresponding completed transaction. This number will be printed on your transaction receipts when you complete a Visa transaction

This is the term used by MasterCard to describe the unique Scheme Reference Data that now needs to flow for each successful authorisation and corresponding completed transaction. This number will be printed on your transaction receipts when you complete a MasterCard transaction.

This is the generic term given to the Transaction/Trace Identification number (see Q1 & Q2).

Visa and MasterCard have mandated these changes to allow for the accurate matching of authorisations to completed transactions, make the linking of chargebacks to their original transaction easier and allow representments to be traced back to the corresponding chargeback more easily. It will also aid in the prevention, research and detection of card fraud, making transactions more secure.

You must comply with this mandate by 1st April 2014.

Failure to comply with this mandate could lead to the application of a 0.25% charge on every MasterCard transaction, in addition to the existing service charges you pay.

You will need to contact the company that you have a contract with for providing your equipment or your PSP.

It is very important that you contact your equipment provider/PSP as soon as possible so that they can start making the changes required. If they are unable to make the changes in time they should contact Global Payments through their usual communication channel with us and schedule a time when they will be able complete their testing and meet the mandate.

This is something you will need to ask your equipment supplier or PSP as your service contract is with them and not with Global Payments. If you rent a terminal from Global Payments or use Global Iris then we will automatically upgrade these to include the Scheme Reference Data and this will be done free of charge.

Under the terms of your Card Processing Agreement with us, it is your responsibility to ensure that your card processing equipment meets industry standards. You can find further details on this in your Merchant Operating Instructions in the ‘Using Your Own Equipment’ section (on page 12). This states that “It is your responsibility to ensure that your card processing equipment meets industry security standards. You must carry out, and bear the cost of all upgrades to your equipment which we, or your terminal supplier, may reasonably request from time to time. This includes any developments required to meet changes to Card Scheme Rules. Failure to meet these changes will result in non-compliance with some of these regulations and may incur charges or penalties and increase your chargeback exposure. Also, in your Terms of Service under clause 6.22 it states “If you do not rent your terminals from GP, you must ensure that your card acceptance systems (including any part provided by a third party) operate in accordance with the following documents which have been issued to you or any amended or reissued versions of these which shall also be issued to you:

  • ‘Technical Specification For EFTPOS Systems’ – this outlines GP’s requirements for the functionality of your system
  • ‘Technical Specification For EFTPOS Systems’ – this outlines the protocols which GP supports from time to time.

Additionally, GP may require, for reasons of fraud prevention or otherwise, that you install specific terminal functionality which will be notified to you in writing by GP.”

You won’t need to make any changes to the way you accept card payments, and once you’ve updated your equipment, you’ll see the Scheme Reference Data printed out on your card transaction receipts. The data will also be included in the records you receive for all internet transactions you take.

Yes, this is a change mandated by Visa and MasterCard. All card processors in the UK and their customers accepting card payments are mandated to make the change.

The technical specification can be found here