Website Compliance Requirements: A Step-by-Step Guide For Merchants

October 5, 2022Sandra Wróbel-Konior

A certain amount of paperwork is a necessary part of operating an online business and offering goods or services online. Even if the compliance procedure could take a few weeks, smart planning can help you speed it along and minimize mistakes.

Online business owners need to ensure that their websites comply with banks’ or payment processors’ regulations. For the process to move swiftly and efficiently, it is preferable to make all the necessary adjustments before the process even begins.

In this article, we'll go over a few website essentials that you absolutely must have.

Transparent Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions agreement is not only for customers; it is also crucial for safeguarding your company by ensuring that clients are aware of their rights and obligations.

It helps you prevent client confusion and misunderstandings, so it needs to be written with complete clarity regarding what should be done in every specific situation. Consumers should be informed about all the issues that come with shipping and delivery, the return policy, and the privacy policy as well as information about pricing, payment, and taxes.

Here’s what you should include in your terms and conditions.

Customer Rights and Responsibilities

  • A privacy policy with clear information about the use of personal or sensitive data. Specify what information you gather from your customers and how you use it. Define the data that is saved or sent to third-party applications. Also, if you collect data from a mailing list, make sure to include instructions on how users can unsubscribe from the list and change or delete their personal information. Customers will disclose sensitive information and credit card numbers with you, therefore you must take precautions to protect that data.

  • The list of payment options accepted on your website, along with payment and pricing information that include all taxes and other fees. You can also include details on how payments will be handled in the event of missed or late payments or payment disputes.

  • A refund policy. Making sure users understand what to do with things they purchase from your website in particular circumstances is the goal (even if there are only limited or no possibilities). If the goods or services are not as described or don’t work as intended, merchants in the EU are required to replace, fix, or give a refund.

  • A clear opt-out policy that outlines how clients can stop using your services. Within 14 days, they are free to cancel or return the ordered goods or services without incurring any fees.

Delivery and Shipping

Include a clear statement of the delivery time frame when shipping physical goods.

Dispute Resolution Details and the Website’s Legal Liability

For situations where a consumer is unsatisfied and requests compensation, it is recommended to include this information in your terms and conditions agreement. 

Keep in mind that your terms and conditions should cover matters like the right to a refund and adhere to consumer law. Of course, consumer laws still exist even if you don't include them in your website's terms and conditions, but you can restrict your liability, for example.

Moreover, keep on your website confidentiality obligation that the contracting party ensures the confidential handling of all customer data. You should also note what steps the merchant takes to protect consumer data on your website (e.g. SSL encryption).

Important for Financial Services:

You should always keep the AML / CFT Policy accessible for the users.

Imprint On Your Website

Your website must provide contact information, so you need to include full contact details, including

  •     company name,

  •     physical address,

  •     email address and/or phone number.

To make it simple to deal with situations where a client is not satisfied and requests compensation, include this information in your terms and conditions, footer, and contact us sections.

Keep in mind that the country listed in the location section should correspond to your main place of business (which is typically the headquarters).

You can also provide specifics regarding the VAT or the after-sale services that are offered.


Website/URL is operated by Company’s name with the registered address, under the laws of the Country, and is licensed by xxx. XXX, registration Number is XXX and its registered address is XXX.

Clear Product Descriptions

Your website's content should always be consistently updated. Pay particular attention to ensure that each good or service you offer has an accurate and clear description, easy to understand.

Checkout Process on Your Page

If you want to sell online, you need to put a payment gateway in place. When your page is going through the compliance process, the bank representative will look at how the payment flows from the customer's perspective.

What if you're just starting out and don't yet have a payment solution on your page? Payments can be added in test mode to allow you to test the process. 

Note that e-commerce merchants must provide the final transaction amount on the checkout screen, or show the sequence of the pages that the cardholder sees during the checkout process.

Also, remember that an HTTPS connection should always be used for encryption on the checkout page. All payment information should be provided on the payment page, along with clear pricing information that includes any applicable taxes or other costs.

To let visitors know what payment methods are supported on your website, you should also display logos of card brands. You should also include a recurring disclosure on your website (if needed).

When it comes to recurring payments, you must make sure that your clients are aware of all relevant details, including

  • The amount of the recurring transaction

  • The information on whether the amount is fixed or variable

  • The recurring transaction's start and end dates, as well as information on whether those dates are fixed or variable

  • Clear information for a cardholder about the communication method.

Furthermore, don't forget to include a descriptor with a title that will be familiar to your customers to make it simple to recognize the purchase. Every transaction needs to have a clear transaction identification given to it for future use in the event of disputes or other problems.

Last but not least, is your business GDPR-compliant? The EU's new privacy law, known as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), sets new guidelines for organizations on how to handle customer data. In accordance with the standards, retailers must adhere to best practices to maintain compliance with EU legislation.

Reduce the Difficulty of the Compliance Process

To sum up, make sure your website has the following before beginning the compliance process:

  • A contract's terms and conditions should include information about shipping, privacy, and refunds.

  • An imprint including the company name, physical business address, and phone number or email address.

  • The payment page displays credit card logos.

  • Updated content on a finished and fully functional website.

  • Clear and transparent pricing.

  • A payment gateway implemented on the website (if you are just starting, it can be a payment solution in test mode).

  • Clear information and details regarding recurring payments.

  • Elements on a checkout page relevant to the GDPR recommendations.

Generally speaking, your website must be operational. A FAQ page that compiles all the necessary information is something else you might consider, but it's not necessary.

Even though the entire process could take some time, if you follow the right methods, it will be far less painful.

Have a question? Contact our support team. We’re happy to help!