Mastercard enhanced the policy on free trials but only for physical goods
“No one wants to be unsatisfied with a physical product after paying for it. For some consumers, a free-trial is a great way to test out a new product and get comfortable with it before making a purchasing decision. And with so many merchants offering free product trials, they’re becoming the new norm.,” says Mastercard’s blog post. When you think of free trials, digital subscriptions might be the first to come to mind. The issue that follows thereon, a Mastercard spokesperson told The Verge that physical products are what have drawn the most complaints from its customers.
Mastercard has just introduced new rules that require merchants to send cardholders a fresh email or text message reminding them of their first post-free trial charge. Alongside this, the message needs to include explicit instructions on how to cancel the card outright — all charges that appear on the cardholder’s statement must now include the merchant website URL or the phone number of the store where the cardholder made the purchase. “The new rules will help in increase transparency and ensure an outstanding experience for cardholders”, Mastercard wrote in its announcement.
The recently announced policy change is to enhance consumer protection. Actually, Mastercard has already the solution that provides consumers with a central view of where their cards are stored across all digital channels, as well as the ability to control how, when and where those cards are used. At the end of 2017, Mastercard launched Consumer Control, which is one of the more than 35 APIs available through the Mastercard Developers portal.