PIF Code of Conduct
Revised February 2017
The PIF Code of Conduct ("Code") is designed to provide a set of high level principles to organisations involved in the development, marketing, distribution and sales of prepaid payment products. Our aim is to set a challenging set of principles which seek to deliver high standards from the industry.
The Code is agreed by the membership of the Prepaid International Forum (PIF). All references to a "prepaid card" in this Code shall mean any prepaid payment product (physical or virtual) including without limitation a card, e-voucher or code.
The Code is designed to be applicable to any country. We recognise that regulation differs markedly from country from country and that certain regulations may preclude full adherence to this Code. In such circumstances local regulation must prevail.
The Code makes no reference to any other guidance already available and practitioners should take their own advice in the event of any conflicting views.
Key Principles of the Code
- To promote and demonstrate fairness to the end-user customer
- To operate in a manner compliant with regulations
- To encourage sound business practice
- To maintain the reputation of the industry
Code of Conduct
The Code has been developed around a set of generic statements and three phases of the lifecycle of a prepaid card.
All programme providers should be familiar with and ensure that their programmes fully comply with all relevant local legislation such as conduct of business rules, data protection, advertising standards, consumer protection legislation, regulator instructions around treating customers fairly, data security (PCI-DSS), unfair contract terms rules, e-money regulation and payment service regulation.
Phase 1 - Customer Application for, or Purchase of, a Prepaid Card
- Prepaid cards should only be targeted at relevant audiences and should positively exclude, where possible, customer segments that are not eligible for the product, e.g. children.
- Customer facing sales material should be clear, consistent, comprehensive, truthful and draw attention to key features of the product including any fees, costs and key conditions, giving the customer a genuine opportunity to see important information before they commit to purchase.
- The application process for customers should be simple, accessible and timely.
- Terms and conditions relating to a prepaid card should be made available to all customers supported by a comprehensive set of FAQs which address all the key issues including consumer protection.
- Programmes should clearly show who the 'issuer' of the prepaid card is.
Phase 2 - Usage of Prepaid Cards
- Prepaid cards should perform as promised in terms of spend and load and customers should be able to check their balance in a convenient manner.
- Customer help should be delivered appropriately for the nature of the product and should be clearly communicated including complaint and dispute resolution procedures.
- Customer complaints should be handled promptly and analysed for root causes with a view to removing them.
Phase 3 - Termination or Closure of the Prepaid Card
- Programmes should not present any unreasonable barriers to closure and should deal promptly with cardholder requests.
- Information and consequences of closure (particularly redemption procedures) should be clearly communicated to customers through Terms and Conditions and FAQs.
- Cardholder information should be dealt with appropriately including destruction of out of date information in accordance with legislation.
- Programmes should make reasonable commercial efforts to contact customers where a programme is closing.
The information provided in this Code in intended to provide guidance to organisations involved in the development, marketing, distribution and sales of prepaid payment products. While every effort has been made to provide accurate and current information Prepaid International Forum ("PIF") disclaims all liability and responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content contained in this Code.
The information provide in the Code should not be construed as legal or any other professional advice and no responsibility will be accepted by PIF for any loss incurred by any individual or organisation due to acting or not acting as a result of any content in this Code. On any specific matter reference should be made to an appropriate advisor.
No part of the Code may be reproduced, stored in central retrieval systems or transmitted electronically or otherwise without the prior written consent of PIF.