AFTA Chargeback Scheme (ACS):
There appears to still be a wide-spread knowledge gap around the mechanics of the ACS scheme – amongst retail agents and suppliers.
The ACS scheme was originally designed to protect agents in the event of supplier failure which resulted in a client invoking a credit card charge back.
For clarity, participation in the ACS scheme can be equally beneficial for tour operators and wholesalers as it is for agents where;
- Direct client bookings are being taken and you are then processing business through DMC’s and suppliers around the world.
- When agents are providing a client credit card for you to charge directly (and paying agent commissions once travel has availed)
For the ACS scheme to activate, the consumer must pay by credit card and the agent (or CATO Member for direct clients) must process the card payment via their ACS preferred payment partner (not their bank merchant facility).
Once the customer has paid by credit card and the agent has processed correctly via their ACS facility, the agent can then pay the supplier by electronic bank transfer (EFT) or credit card – the ACS scheme has already been activated by the original consumer to agent transaction.
If a CATO Member is charging a customer credit card that has been provided by an agent (per point 2 above) and an end supplier is unable to provide services, it is the CATO Member who would then make the ACS claim following the card holder invoking a charge back.
If a consumer pays an agent by EFT then the agent pays the supplier by store or corporate credit card, – the ACS scheme coverage is not valid.
The AFTA compliance team are very well versed on the ACS scheme if you desire further clarity. I’m also more than happy to talk through the structure with members at any time.
Credit Card Surcharging:
If you are surcharging agents (or direct customers) to cover credit card merchant fees, please review the attached fact sheet
that was originally distributed by AFTA to ensure you are aware of your obligations.
The fact sheet can also be found on the AFTA website at;