Payment Brand Compliance Visa GARS

Visa Global Acquirer Risk Standards (GARS) Assessment.

This standard established by Visa Inc. sets the minimum risk guidelines an Acquirer must follow when on boarding merchants and third party agents. Visa may require Acquirers to prove adherence to this standard by engaging an authorized Security Assessor. This usually happens when an Acquirer wants a high-risk merchant license or has high levels of fraud or disputes. GM Sectec is an approved and certified Visa Global Security Assessor for performing this assessment.

All acquirers in the Visa payment system must ensure their operations comply with the Visa Rules and the risk standards detailed in this guide.

Key acquirer risk responsibilities identified by Visa include the following:




· Implement policies that include the minimum standards established by Visa to mitigate risk to the Visa payment system.

· The policies must be approved by the acquirers Board of Directors or an appropriate senior executive committee.

· Policies must be made available to Visa upon request.

Merchant Agreements

· Utilize merchant agreements that meet Visa minimum requirements for disclosure and clearly define both acquirer and merchant obligations.

· Ensure merchant agreements in use by the acquirer and third party agents, including subsequent updates, are reviewed and approved prior to their use.

· Have a merchant agreement in place with each merchant before transaction services are provided.

Merchant Underwriting

· Control merchant approvals per pre-determined policies and procedures.

· Provide Visa acceptance privileges in accordance with the Visa Rules.

Reserves and Funding

· Hold and control all funds related to Visa merchant acceptance, including settlement funds, reserves, suspended settlement and other funds.

· Third party agents are prohibited from direct control over merchants funds and reserves (with the exception of payment facilitators).

Merchant Risk Monitoring

· Maintain adequate risk controls to monitor merchant activity to ensure compliance with
the Visa Rules and prevent undue harm to the acquirer and Visa payment system.

Third Party
Agent Risk

· Conduct due diligence on all third party agents prior to registration, in accordance with the Visa Third Party Agent Due Diligence Risk Standards.

· Perform ongoing monitoring and oversight of third party agents to control the agent relationship and its activities.

· Ensure third party agents are aware of the acquirers polities and requirements to remain in compliance with Visa Rules.

Source: Visa PUBLIC GARS Standards