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.
However, sometimes a free trial of a skincare or healthcare product can unwittingly turn into a recurring product subscription that is difficult to cancel. These situations can be frustrating and costly for both consumers and their banks.
At Mastercard, we want every commerce engagement to be simple, safe and secure and we are introducing rules for merchants that offer free-trials to make this a hassle-free experience for their consumers. The rule change will require merchants to gain cardholder approval at the conclusion of the trial before they start billing. To help cardholders with that decision, merchants will be required to send the cardholder – either by email or text – the transaction amount, payment date, merchant name along with explicit instructions on how to cancel a trial.