Last updated: 6 February 2015
Compliance to regulations regarding online payments in Brazil means abiding to a list of laws and institutions that might seem cumbersome or complicated at first.
In this article we will look at the requirements for online payments operations in Brazil.
Online payment compliance
Managing all requirements for online payments in Brazil can be a complex process, considering the institutions and regulations regarding this sector. One of the most difficult factors, in fact, comes from the general lack of specification for these types of payments and the bland nature of regulation that is in place.
While laws require companies, for example, to provide a set of information and communication channels on pages where transactions take place, it is hardly specified how they should be implemented and how companies might be penalized for failing to comply to this regulation.
Another factor that might be confusing especially for foreign companies is the fact that Brazilian regulations for online payments differ from what is found in other countries, in some cases, for not specifying determinate aspects of online transactions.
Some countries have, for example, regulations about when an order made online must be charged, whether at the moment of shipment or delivery. Brazilian regulation does not specify any aspect similar to this, as online payments can be made at any time during the transaction process.
Regulatory Institutions and Laws
Some regulatory institutions in Brazil determine the requisites for payment and consumer rights in the country. These are:
Consumer Protection Laws
A federal legislation regarding consumer rights approved in 1990 applicable to commerces of all types. This contains regulation for payment policies, transaction transparency and post-sale service requirements. In 2013, a decree added a section specifically about online commerce and transactions.
The Brazilian Consumer Protection and Defense Foundation, or Procon, works with affiliates for each state of the country to regulate commercial practices and consumer rights. Issues with payment processing, return policies, information transparency or any other occurrence that might damage consumers are handled by these institutions.
There are requirements for online transactions in Brazil, most of them regarding consumer rights. These are:
When offering any transaction in an online environment, stores and other businesses are required to:
- Present a summary of the transaction beforehand, providing consumers with all the information to grant them the right of choice to proceed or not with payment
- Provide all necessary tools for consumers to identify, in an efficient manner, any errors that might have occurred before the transaction is completed
- Send consumers a confirmation of the completed transaction immediately after it took place
- Maintain an adequate online channel for consumers to clear any demands regarding information, doubts, complaints, suspension or cancellation of transactions
- Confirm the receipt of these demands immediately after they have taken place and through the same channel used by the consumer
- Secure the environments where transactions and consumer data storage take place
It is important to note that many of these requirements, such as providing immediate confirmation of feedback, maintaining communication channels and a secure environment, do not specify the means through which they are achieved, which can be a problem for businesses working in this sector.
Product pages must include clear information regarding supply, delivery date and any other restrictions to purchase, and comply with them during the transaction. Information about the company, like CNPJ and physical address must also be present on the payment pages.
Online stores are required to return any amount paid by customers in case of a purchase cancellation. E-commerce deliveries, for example, are allowed a period of seven days where customers can cancel the order and have the entirety of the payment, including taxes and shipping fees, returned.
In the case of credit card charges already paid, the merchandiser must contact the bank or card network to inform them about the cancellation and refund any charges to customers.
Group purchase companies like Groupon must also follow a specific set of regulations. Sellers must set a minimum number of clients for the offer to be processed, and make it clearly visible to the customer. In the case it is not fulfilled, the seller must refund all the orders already charged.