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What You Need to Know About ABU

Jan 11, 2018

JCB participates in the MasterCard Automatic Billing Updater (ABU) service. This MasterCard service works with participating merchants to automatically update cardholder information securely and allows pre-established recurring payments to continue without interruption when your debit card is reissued due to normal expiration or as a result of a lost / stolen/ compromised card. Recurring payments are more likely to be successful because updated card information is readily available to participating merchants. If you would like to opt out of the MasterCard ABU service, please contact us at 800-204-6477.

The Challenge. Sara is always looking for ways to simplify her busy life, so she uses her JCB Debit MasterCard to automatically manage several recurring payments, including her Internet service, cable, and electric utility bill.

Sara recently lost her JCB Debit MasterCard and had to have a new card issued. Unless Sara remembers to quickly provide her new card number to each of her automatic bill payment merchants, she risks an inconvenient (and perhaps embarrassing) interruption in service.

The Solution. MasterCard’s Automatic Billing Updater Service (ABU). This service creates a communication link between participating merchants, MasterCard, and JCB. MasterCard’s ABU informs everyone* of Sara’s new card information, seamlessly and efficiently.

*Merchants must enroll to participate. If a merchant does not elect to participate in the service the customer must contact the merchant and provide them with their new card information.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is the MasterCard Automatic Billing Updater (ABU) Service, and what does it do? MasterCard’s ABU is a service that will provide card number and expiration date updates to merchants who maintain card records on their system (card-on-file merchants) typically for recurring customer payments.
2. What is a card-on-file merchant? Card-on-file merchants keep customer card numbers on file for recurring payments. Common examples include subscription services such as Netflix or utility companies.
3. What are the benefits of this service? Although it remains the customer’s ultimate responsibility to ensure that any merchants with which they do business have their latest card information, one benefit of this service is that participating merchants will receive this information automatically and electronically, lessening the likelihood of entry errors. Recurring payments are more likely to be successful because updated card information is available to participating merchants.
4. When would the merchant use updated card information? Participating merchants will typically obtain updated card information prior to their billing cycle. Merchants who elect to use the service will be able to access updated card information, eliminating the potential for denied transactions due to outdated card-on-file information.
5. How do I know if a merchant participates in the service? Participation in the service is at each merchant’s discretion. It is best to verify with the merchant that they have your new card information.
6. As a JCB Debit MasterCard Cardholder, what actions are needed from me to be part of the Automatic Billing Updater Service? As a JCB Debit MasterCard Cardholder, you will automatically be enrolled in this program. You may opt out by contacting JCB at 800-204-6477.