Story image

E-commerce terms and conditions : what you need to know

01 Jul 10

If you have an e-commerce facility on your website then you will know that your bank requires you to have terms and conditions for its use. But having an e-commerce facility creates its own unique issues which won’t be covered by your normal terms of trade.
Why you need specific e-commerce terms
With e-commerce your customers will be paying you by credit card over the internet. You can’t see them and neither are they required to verify their identity through a pin number or a signature. As a result the transaction is less secure, and then you add the complication that it’s happening over the internet. Whether your e-commerce facility uses Secure Socket Layer technology or not, everything is vulnerable to an expert intent on doing some damage. So if something goes wrong; for example, the customer is using somebody else’s card or the transaction somehow gets hacked, then you want to make sure that no liability attaches to you.
What should you put in your terms?
Here is a short checklist of some things you will want to cover in your e-commerce terms to ensure that your liability is kept to a minimum:
Ensure the customer is who he says he is: this means getting the customer to agree that he is over 18 and he is using his own credit card for a proper purpose.
Refunds: what is your policy on refunds? In what circumstances will they be made and how? My recommendation is that all refunds only be made back to the card which originally purchased the product and not by any other means.
Privacy: get permission to collect personal information from your customers through your online shopping cart.
Security: give some assurances around the level of security offered, but exclude liability for transactions that may be hacked.
Fees: does payment by your e-commerce facility attract additional fees on top of the price for the product? If so, this must be specified.
Limit liability: You need to have a general exclusion of liability for the customer’s use of the e-commerce facility and emphasise that any payment reversals are nothing to do with you, but are between the customer and their card issuer.
Review your terms now
The chances are that your normal terms of trade will not include these terms (at least specific to the customer’s use of the e-commerce facility). So either incorporate such terms into your standard trading terms or have them as a separate document. Make sure the customer ticks the box to say that they have read them (even if they don’t).

Wine firm uses AR to tell its story right on the bottle
A Central Otago wine company is using augmented reality (AR) and a ‘digital first’ strategy to change the way it builds its brand and engages with customers.
DigiCert conquers Google's distrust of Symantec certs
“This could have been an extremely disruptive event to online commerce," comments DigiCert CEO John Merrill. 
Protecting organisations against internal fraud
Most companies tend to take a basic approach that focuses on numbers and compliance, without much room for grey areas or negotiation.
Telesmart to deliver Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams
The integration will allow Telesmart’s Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams to natively enable external voice connectivity from within Teams collaborative workflow environment.
Jade Software & Ambit take chatbots to next level of AI
“Conversation Agents present a huge opportunity to increase customer and employee engagement in a cost-effective manner."
52mil users affected by Google+’s second data breach
Google+ APIs will be shut down within the next 90 days, and the consumer platform will be disabled in April 2019 instead of August 2019 as originally planned.
GirlBoss wins 2018 YES Emerging Alumni of the Year Award
The people have spoken – GirlBoss CEO and founder Alexia Hilbertidou has been crowned this year’s Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Emerging Alumni of the Year.
SingleSource scores R&D grant to explore digital identity over blockchain
Callaghan Innovation has awarded a $318,000 R&D grant to Auckland-based firm SingleSource, a company that applies risk scoring to digital identity.