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Mastercard Specialty Merchant Requirements drive Age Verification

September 13, 2021

In a sign of the relative power of a multinational company can be far greater than almost any national government, Mastercard’s new policy on requirements for Non-face-to-face Adult Content and Services which comes into force on October 15 2021, will have a far-reaching impact on not only pornographic websites, but also dating sites and social media which allow for the upload of user-generated content of an adult-nature. Mastercard list “subscription website access; streaming video; pictures and images; and videotape and DVD rentals and sales” as being some of those affected.

The stated aim is “strong content control measures and clear, unambiguous and documented consent.”  The requirements will also include:

  • Documented age and identity verification for all people depicted and those uploading the content
  • Content review process prior to publication
  • Complaint resolution process that addresses illegal or nonconsensual content within seven business days
  • Appeals process allowing for any person depicted to request their content be removed

This was certainly high on the agenda at the TES Affiliates conference in Prague this past weekend.  There is uncertainty about what acquiring banks which are in the frontline for enforcing the rules will now require in practice, and how much grace they will give services beyond the notice period which is almost now expired.

Contact an AVPA member to secure the advice you need to be compliant, to a PAS 1296:2018 certified standard, which  as the only global standard for age verification currently available, should be sufficient to reassure your bank you’ve implemented effective technology to comply with the rules – don’t be the first to lose access to your payment services by acting too slowly on this matter.  Restoring services is likely to be far more costly than simply demonstrating you’ve obeyed the new rules!

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