I received an interesting email from Visa recently, and it bears wider dissemination.
The crux of the message was a reminder that it violates Visa regulations to share card numbers between merchants. This is probably obvious in some contexts (i.e. if you sell your customer list to another company, you better not pass along their card numbers). In other cases, though, folks may not realize they’re breaking the rules.
Assume you run an online video service. You have an affiliate that sells pizza. They allow someone to buy their pizza, then ask the pizza-buyer if they’d also like to rent a movie online. If so, they route the user to your site.
So far, so good… but this is also where people get into trouble. If the affiliate passes in basic information (their affiliate ID, the genre of movie in the advertisement, etc.) that’s OK. However, the affiliate is explicitly prohibited from passing along the payment information. Would it be more convenient for the customer if the payment info passed in? Probably. However, it’s against the Visa regulations. It’s also a violation of rules with the FTC, unless you have explicit permission to do so from the customer.
Just a friendly reminder to be careful about passing this sort of information between affiliates.