Mastercard Is Changing the Way Free Trial Services Work

January 18, 2019, Written By Bill Hardekopf
Mastercard Is Changing the Way Free Trial Services Work

Free trial offers are everywhere, from streaming TV services to identity theft monitoring. But most of these “free” programs automatically collect payment at the end of the trial period. If customers forget to cancel service before that time, they may be charged for an unwanted subscription.

Mastercard is aiming to change this practice. The credit card giant announced a new set of rules for merchants. Merchants who have free trial programs will now be required to notify customers at the end of their trial period.

Merchants will need to send cardholders an email or text with the amount that will be charged, the payment date, and detailed instructions on how to cancel payment. Merchants must also provide cancellation information for every payment made thereafter. The merchant’s website and/or phone number will be listed on the credit card statements so consumers can quickly follow-through with questions.

Mastercard’s existing Zero Liability policy protects customers from unauthorized charges. If an unauthorized transaction appears on the bill, the cardholder may dispute it through Mastercard and receive a reimbursement, when applicable.

Earlier this month, Mastercard revealed a new logo design that no longer features the company’s name. Mastercard aims to turn attention away from the “card” aspect of their services as digital services grow in popularity.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of January 18, 2019. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.

About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
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