In October 2022, merchant category code (MCC) 7322 for debt collectors arrived. The rules for that MCC went into effect April 15, 2023.
But as we were reading about these new rules to put together a short reference guide for our customers, we couldn’t help but think MCC numbers reminded us of something. What was it?
And then we figured it out! A Star Wars stormtrooper number, like Finn’s FN-2187!
(Two notes before we start - first, we are NOT saying Visa endorses the Galactic Empire, and second, you should always consult your credit card processor for details on changes like these.)
Test your knowledge of MCC 7322 with a quick quiz we’re calling:
MCC 7322 or stormtrooper?
1. Which one has better aim?
A. MCC 7322
We’re going with A.
Stormtroopers have notoriously terrible aim - maybe they need to rethink the helmet design? - but MCC 7322 is clearly designated as the merchant code for debt collectors.
As Ballard Spahr explains, the code is for businesses that “are broadly defined as merchants that collect payments of overdue receivables on behalf of another or collect overdue receivables that they purchased from a third party.”
2. Which one has stricter rules to follow?
A. MCC 7322
Stormtroopers have pretty strict rules to live by, and the punishment for disobedience is…well, bigger than a time-out.
But Visa’s rules for MCC 7322 are solid and clear.
We’re calling these the “disclosure rule” and the “credit card rule.” You can read the original Visa memo here, but let’s extract the relevant parts:
The disclosure rule states: “entities collecting debt or overdue receivables on behalf of another entity must disclose the following to the cardholder before the transaction occurs:
- Name of the original lender or creditor
- Information to identify the transaction such as:
Account / reference number from the original lender or creditor
Description of the debt or overdue receivables
Date of the repayment contract
- Instructions for the cardholder on how to obtain additional information about the underlying transaction”
And the “credit rule” states that you can’t accept a credit or charge card (debit cards are okay, because it’s not taking on debt) and the authorization request and clearing record must include the debt repayment indicator.
The consequences for violation are stiff: “Acquirers must immediately report to Visa any illegal transactions or activity by the entity collecting the debt or overdue receivables along with a remediation plan. Visa reserves the right to prohibit such a merchant from using Visa for collections if it has acted illegally or carries out actions that Visa deems likely to damage the Visa brand.”
3. Which one requires more training?
A. MCC 7322
Since, as mentioned above, stormtroopers don’t seem to be very good at their jobs, we’re guessing they don’t get much training.
That said, as you can see from the rules we quoted above, the training on MCC 7322 is pretty straightforward: do this, don’t do that.
But if your agents want support, we can recommend a really stellar* real-time agent assistance solution to keep them up to date and compliant.
*See what we did there?
4. Which one is most likely to change?
A. MCC 7322
Trick question! We’re going to say both. Here’s why.
Stormtroopers have obviously changed a lot over time. HalloweenCostumes.com has a surprisingly detailed infographic about this.
But we also expect MCC 7322 to continue to develop.
With both American Express and Visa banning the use of credit and charge cards for collections companies, we’re predicting Mastercard will be next in line, so you should consider changing your acceptance practices for those starting now.
Remember these rules don’t prohibit you from accepting debit cards if you use MCC 7322. But you still have to follow the disclosure rule.
5. Which one can Prodigal help you with?
A. MCC 7322
A, for sure.
At Prodigal, we’re lovers, not fighters, so we’re probably not your best bet if you’re going into battle against a stormtrooper. Also, we forgot to charge our lightsaber last night.
But consumer finance compliance issues? We’ve got your back.
We can help make sure you're making every agent your best agent with solutions to improve agent onboarding and training with real-time agent assistance, ensure accurate records with automated call notes, and make QA and compliance scoring a breeze.
So don’t forget to talk to your credit card processor for details on MCC 7322, and then talk to us about how our AI-powered solutions can support you through other changes and boost your business at the same time.
Thanks for stopping by, and watch your head on the way out.