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Visa Merchant Name (DBA) Requirements

October 17, 2013 Visa has revised its requirements for the correct use of merchant names.

The merchant name used in a transaction record is the primary name a merchant uses to identify itself to its customers. For example, a magazine must use the name of the publication, not the publisher; a taxi must use the name of the cab company, not the driver; and a petrol station must use the name of the advertised brand, not the franchisee. If a merchant's full name is not customarily displayed to customers, the shorter, advertised version should be the merchant name for Visa receipts and processing. Merchant names longer than 25 characters (including letters, spacing and symbols) will not fit in the Merchant Name field and must be abbreviated. If the merchant name displayed to customers is too long for VisaNet, the merchant must: - Not abbreviate the part of the name that uniquely identifies it to the cardholder. - Use commonly recognized abbreviations, where available. The requirements also determine when supplementary data is permitted in the VisaNet merchant descriptor field. With the exception of airline ticket numbers, Visa requires supplementary data to be the same in all VisaNet messages. The merchant name (and spelling) must be consistent in all VisaNet records and must be consistent with the merchant name displayed on the receipt, unless the name on the receipt is longer than the name field allows, in which case the above requirements for abbreviations apply.

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