Credit Card
Consumers accustomed to hearing "Congratulations" at the conclusion of an e-commerce sale may no longer be subjected to as many cross-promotions after Visa officials announced restrictions on "data pass" transactions. According to news reports, lawmakers considering enacting an official ban on the practice cheered the credit card platform provider for protecting consumer interests.

In a typical "data pass" transaction, a consumer might hear an audio promotion or see a special offer on a website after completing an online purchase. Online marketers incite consumers to sign up for free trial offers of magazines, shopping passes, credit monitoring services, and other subscription billing services. The "data pass" happens when the original e-commerce website passes customers' credit card details to those third-party marketers.

Customers, believing they have not provided credit card information to the third party, accept the offers. However, when recurring bills show up on their statements, many participants report resistance from companies reluctant to process cancellations or refunds. Visa officials agreed with Senate findings that fewer than 3% of participants ever received any real value from "data pass" transactions.

About the Author


Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.