Visa Free Trial Subscription Updates

As previously published in our blogs, Visa had decided to update its acceptance, disclosure and dispute policies for transactions at merchants that offer free trials or discounted introductory promotions as part of an ongoing subscription service as of 18 April 2020. The changes applied to merchants selling either physical or digital goods and services if they offered free trials or introductory offers that roll into a recurring agreement.

An overview of all requirements forming part of Visa’s update can be found in our previous article.

visa free trial subscription updates

Enhanced Statement Descriptor

The effective date of the requirement to support an enhanced descriptor for the first transaction at the end of a trial or discounted promotional period, originally included in the requirements, was due to the pandemic postponed to 17 April 2021.

Nevertheless, Visa has recently adopted a new standpoint concerning the implementation of the enhanced descriptor. According to Visa’s reasoning, it is critical for the payment system to remain stable and secure for all stakeholders during the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Visa recognizes that our businesses are facing significant operational challenges at this time, particularly for technology updates. To that end, Visa has decided to remove the requirement for support of the enhanced statement descriptor.

Keep in mind the effective date

Effective 17 April 2021, the enhanced descriptor will be optional for the first transaction at the end of a trial or discounted promotional period. The descriptor can be used in the merchant name field or the merchant city field. All other requirements, as previously announced, are still applicable.

Contact us for more information or help

Do you need help or have further questions? Please, do not hesitate to contact your Account manager or contact us via We will be pleased to advise you.


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