Mastercard Standards for Security Rules and Procedures Update

Mastercard Standards for Security Rules and Procedures Update

Mastercard, one of the leading global card networks, regularly revises its rules and standards to bring them into line with market changes.

This year, Mastercard has updated and extended its Specialty Merchant Registration requirements and introduced advanced measures to prevent unlawful activity by merchants that accept payments via this card network.

The proposed changes come into effect as of October 15th 2021, and will affect CCBill Merchants that sell and distribute adult content and accept Mastercard payment cards.

The main change is the requirement that banks handling merchants’ operations are now obligated to verify that every seller of adult content is capable of supervising, blocking, and removing all illegal adult content they publish.

New Rules on Content Upload

Mastercard bases the rules update on the changes in the way online content has been produced and published in the last few years.

Today, all you need is a smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection, and you can upload any content to the Internet. This has led to uploaders occasionally publishing content without the consent of all the participants.

This is illegal and various institutions want to prevent such practices.

Therefore, Mastercard has revised it's rules. Below are the most important rules updates merchants must meet if they are processing Mastercard payment cards (this is not a comprehensive list):

  • Each content provider must sign a legally binding written agreement with the Merchant.
  • The identity and age of content creators/producers and all participants in the uploaded content must be verified and documented through a detailed process.
  • Content providers must collect and store written consents from all participants in the uploaded content. 
  • Only verified content providers are to be allowed to upload content and Merchants must establish a robust procedure of verifying the age and identity of all content providers.
  • Before content is published, it must undergo a content review to ensure that it’s legal and compliant with the Mastercard Standards.
  • Merchants must not promote or market website content or permit content search terms that would give the impression that the content may contain depiction of non-consensual activity or child exploitation material.
  • Complaints related to non-consensual or illegal content must be handled according to established procedures within seven office days.
  • There must be a clearly defined process that allows people to demand that their content be removed from the Internet.

Note: CCBill merchants processing Mastercard payment cards will be required to sign a self-attestation of compliance as a form of verification.

Joint Content-Filtering Enterprise

These improved content requirements are based on long-term collaborations between Mastercard and external organizations in charge of setting industry standards. Together, they utilize cutting-edge technology and proven practices to closely monitor and protect this credit card network and its clients from illegal content and fraud.

To this end, Mastercard has joined forces with Europol and Interpol, the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition, the National and International Centers for Missing and Exploited Children, the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies, and other relevant institutions.

Furthermore, recently Mastercard has worked closely with organizations fighting against sexual exploitation and for the protection of the Internet’s youngest users, like the Internet Watch Foundation and the We Protect Global Alliance.

The end goal of all these collaborations is to make the Internet a safe and enjoyable place for users of all ages.


The improvements made to the Mastercard registration procedures and the measures introduced to prevent the publication of illegal and non-consensual content ensure that the company and its partners promote lawful activities on this card network and prevent any criminal activities.