Credit Cards and Access Devices Regulation: Explained

What is the “Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998”?

It is Republic Act No. 8484, which is an act regulating the issuance and use of access devices and prohibiting the fraudulent acts committed relative thereto, among others. By enacting this legislation, the State recognizes the recent advances in technology and the widespread use of access devices in commercial transactions.

What is an “Access Device”?

It is any card, plate, code, account number, electronic serial number, personal identification number, or other telecommunications service, equipment, or instrumental identifier, or other means of account access that can be used to obtain money, good, services, or any other thing of value or to initiate a transfer of funds (other than a transfer originated solely by paper instrument). It includes a credit card.

What is a “credit card”?

It is any card, plate, coupon book, or other credit device existing for the purpose of obtaining money, goods, property, labor or services or any thing of value on credit.

What are the information required to be declared in credit card application and solicitation?

Any application to open a credit card account for any person under an open-end credit plan or a solicitation to open such an account, either by mail, telephone or other means, shall disclose in writing or orally, as the case may be, the following information:

(a) Annual Percentage Rate

  1. Each annual percentage rate of interest on the amount of credit obtained by the credit card holder under such credit plan. Where an extension of credit is subject to a variable rate, the fact that the rate is variable, and the annual percentage rate in effect at the time of the mailing.
  2. Where more than one rate applies, the range of balances to which each rate applies.

(b) Annual and other Fees

  1. Any annual fee, other periodic fee, or membership fee imposed for the issuance or availability of a credit card, including any account maintenance fee or any other charge imposed based on activity or inactivity for the account during the billing cycle.
  2. Any minimum finance charge imposed for each period during which any extension of credit which is subject to a finance charge is outstanding (a “finance charge” represents the amount to be paid by the debtor incident to the extension of credit such as interest or discounts, collection fees, credit investigation fees, and other service charges).
  3. Any transaction charge imposed in connection with use of the card to purchase goods or services.
  4. Any fee, penalty or surcharge imposed for the delay in payment of an account. (a “penalty charge” means such amount, in addition to interest, imposed on the credit card holder for non-payment of an account within a prescribed period).

(c) Balance Calculation Method — the name or a detailed explanation of the balance calculation method used in determining the balance upon which the finance charge is computed.

(d) Cash Advance Fee — any fee imposed for an extension of credit in the form of cash.

(e) Over-the-Limit-Fee — any fee imposed in connection with an extension of credit in excess of the amount of credit authorized to be extended with respect to such amount. In case the application or solicitation to open a credit card account for any person under an open-end consumer credit plan be made through catalogs, magazines, or other publications, the following additional information shall be disclosed:

1) A statement, in a conspicuous and prominent location on the application or solicitation, that,

  • the information is accurate as of the date the application or solicitation was printed;
  • the information contained in the application or solicitation is subject to change after such date;
  • the applicant should contact the creditor for information on any change in the information contained in the application or solicitation since it was printed;

(2) The date the application or solicitation was printed; and

(3) In a conspicuous and prominent location on the application or solicitation, a toll free telephone number or mailing address which the applicant may contact to obtain any change in the information provided in the application or solicitation since it was printed.

Is there any exceptions to this disclosure requirement?

Yes. The disclosures may be omitted in any telephone solicitation or application if the credit card issuer:

  1. does not impose any fee in connection with paragraph (b)(1) above;
  2. does not impose any fee in connection with telephone solicitation unless the consumer signifies acceptance by using the card;
  3. discloses clearly the information in writing within thirty (30) days after the consumer requests the card, but in no event later than the date of delivery of the card; and
  4. discloses clearly that the consumer is not obligated to accept the card or account and the consumer will not be obligated to pay any fees or charges disclosed unless the consumer elects to accept the card or account by using the card.

If a credit card issuer already disclosed the information required above, is it still required to disclose certain information prior to renewal?

Yes. Except in telephone solicitations, a card issuer that imposes any fee described above shall transmit to a consumer’s credit card account a clear and conspicuous disclosure of:

  1. the date by which, the month by which, or the billing period at the close of which, the account will expire if not renewed;
  2. the information described above shall be transmitted to a consumer at least thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled renewal date of the consumer’s credit card account;
  3. the information described in 4 (a) (1) above, which shall be transmitted to a consumer’s credit card account; and
  4. the method by which the consumer may terminate the continued credit availability under the account.

These disclosures must be made prior to posting a fee described in 4 (b) (1) above, or with the periodic billing statement first disclosing that the fee has been posted to the account subject to the condition that the consumer is given thirty (30) day period to avoid payment of the fee or to have the fee recredited to the account in any case where the consumer does not wish to continue the availability of the credit.

What is the duty of a credit card isssuer in terms of computation?

A credit card issuer must, to the extent practicable, provide a detailed explanation and a clear illustration of the manner by which all charges and fees are computed.

Is there any exceptions to this disclosure requirement?

Yes. The disclosures may be omitted in any telephone solicitation or application if the credit card issuer:

  1. does not impose any fee in connection with paragraph (b)(1) above;
  2. does not impose any fee in connection with telephone solicitation unless the consumer signifies acceptance by using the card;
  3. discloses clearly the information in writing within thirty (30) days after the consumer requests the card, but in no event later than the date of delivery of the card; and
  4. discloses clearly that the consumer is not obligated to accept the card or account and the consumer will not be obligated to pay any fees or charges disclosed unless the consumer elects to accept the card or account by using the card.

If a credit card issuer already disclosed the information required above, is it still required to disclose certain information prior to renewal?

Yes. Except in telephone solicitations, a card issuer that imposes any fee described above shall transmit to a consumer’s credit card account a clear and conspicuous disclosure of:

  1. the date by which, the month by which, or the billing period at the close of which, the account will expire if not renewed;
  2. the information described above shall be transmitted to a consumer at least thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled renewal date of the consumer’s credit card account;
  3. the information described in 4 (a) (1) above, which shall be transmitted to a consumer’s credit card account; and
  4. the method by which the consumer may terminate the continued credit availability under the account.

These disclosures must be made prior to posting a fee described in 4 (b) (1) above, or with the periodic billing statement first disclosing that the fee has been posted to the account subject to the condition that the consumer is given thirty (30) day period to avoid payment of the fee or to have the fee recredited to the account in any case where the consumer does not wish to continue the availability of the credit.

What is the duty of a credit card isssuer in terms of computation?

A credit card issuer must, to the extent practicable, provide a detailed explanation and a clear illustration of the manner by which all charges and fees are computed.

What shall you do if you lose your credit card or other access devices?

In case of loss of an access device, the holder must notify the issuer of the access device of the details and circumstances of such loss upon knowledge of the loss. Full compliance with such procedure would absolve the access device holder of any financial liability from fraudulent use of the access device from the time the loss or theft is reported to the issuer.

5 thoughts on “Credit Cards and Access Devices Regulation: Explained

  1. yoji

    Hi! I want to ask if having multiple credit cards would necessarily imply the fraud being pertained to in the access device law. And what does the law say as to the disclosure on the side of the credit card holder. thanks so much!

    Reply
  2. kiel

    please help me. i have pending credit card case. from PNB. they endorsed already my account to cmap and bap. and Metropolitan trial court txtd me already but when i searched the phone number that they asked me to call..the number not existed
    .they that ill be receiving a subpoena and said that they filed a estafa case. im willing to pay for it. but i think im being harrass here. what would i do

    Reply
  3. Marta

    Hi! I have been constantly receiving annoying calls from BDO the time I told them I will settle my account as soon as I have collected my receivables until yesterday. I was being pressured to pay the past due amount even when I was on a cancer patient event they keep on calling me so I put my phone on a silent mode since then and didn’t reply their calls because I am already stressed with their repeated demands which have aggravated my physical condition as I am suffering from breast cancer. I have already told them that I am doing my best to pay the past due amount as I am also having a hard time collecting my receivables with my borrowers. They are requiring me to pay at least the minimum amount but I can only settle amount which I have collected also. Now they sent me SMS telling me that the will file a case against me violating R.A 8484 if I fail to settle my account within the day accdg to them. This to me is a form of harrassment. What can I do about it?

    Reply
  4. Jay

    I failed to pay my Postpaid plan and I recieved a text message that they will ground me in R.A 8484, is it possible?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.