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Mastercard issued an updated set of rules and requirements for Merchants operating with the content for Adults

By CommerceGate, Press Team

On the 14th of April 2021, Mastercard issued an updated set of rules and requirements for Merchants operating with the content for Adults within “AN 5196 Revised Standards for New Specialty Merchant Registration Requirements for Adult Content Merchants”


The updated list of Mastercard requirements aims to prevent the distribution of illegal adult content across the network, especially targeting the age verification of content producers, content pre-screening and verification and process of content removal.

The key requirements are (non-exhaustive):

  1. The Merchant must enter into a written agreement with each content provider.
  2. Require the content provider to verify the identity and age of all persons depicted in the content to ensure that all persons depicted are adults and to be able to provide supporting documents upon request.
  3. Require the content provider to obtain and keep on record written consent from all persons depicted in the content.
  4. The Merchant must only permit content uploads from verified content providers and must have a robust process for verifying the age and identity of the content provider.
  5. All uploaded content must be reviewed before publication to ensure that the content is not illegal and does not otherwise violate the Standards.
  6. The Merchant must not market the content of its website or permit content search terms to give the impression that the content contains child exploitation materials or the depiction of non–consensual activities.
  7. The Merchant must support a complaint process that allows for the reporting of content that may be illegal or otherwise violates the Standards.
  8. The Merchant must offer the ability for any person depicted in a video or other content to appeal to remove such content.

These and all other related new Mastercard regulations must be complied with by October 15th 2021, after which Mastercard or Scheme Members (Acquirers) may start imposing fines and restrictions on infringing actors. Mastercard should publish a full text of the changes in “Security Rules and Procedures” (, however at the moment of writing the new text is not yet publicly available.

Please review your product offering and content control frameworks against the new requirements, and reach out to our Account Management Team should you need any help or clarifications.

CommerceGate Compliance Team would be in touch with clients who may need to apply mitigation measures where needed.

CommerceGate Compliance Team

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