MasterCard is requiring acquirers and payment service providers to offer clear fee disclosures as part of an initiative aimed at smaller merchants.

The initiative addresses recent changes to U.S. rules and incorporates best practices from merchants, MasterCard says. The Purchase, N.Y. card network's goal is to increase the acceptance level and the efficiency of electronic payments.

The new standards and best practices "help merchants evaluate and choose the best partner to help control costs and maximize the opportunities to grow their business," says Craig Vosburg, MasterCard's group executive of U.S. market development, in a March 19 press release.

The new standards also require acquirers and payment service providers to give at least 30 days' notice before they modify fees related to MasterCard transactions.

In addition to the new standards, MasterCard formally launched two interactive education programs for merchants.

The "Merchant's Guide to Chargebacks" outlines ten ways merchants can minimize the risk of chargebacks, along with tips on navigating issuer compensation requests for disputed transactions on behalf of a cardholder. The second module, "Partnering with a Merchant Service Provider," offers advice on selecting a payment service provider.

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