New guidelines concerning internet payment

As a supplement to the new Consumer Contracts Act, the Consumer Ombudsman has introduced new guidelines for payment in connection with distance selling.

If your business sells goods or subscriptions to consumers over the Internet, you may have to update your payment terms and procedures. 

The guidelines will come into force on 1 September 2014 and apply to payees (business operators) offering distance selling to consumers by way of payment cards or e.g. mobile phones. 

When a company enters into an agreement involving a payment with a consumer on the Internet, the guidelines require that the company must inform about the general payment terms, e.g. when and how the payment will be effected, and whether fees are charged.

It is important that this information is provided before the purchase/payment is accepted, and terms on prepayment may be considered unreasonable according to the new guidelines. 

If a business operator enters into a continuing agreement with the consumer, the guidelines also list requirements as to such terms, which must be clear and unambiguous. Further, the possibility of registering and reusing payment card data requires explicit agreement with the consumer.  

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Nina Henningsen

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