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Mastercard Automatic Billing Updater (ABU)

Mastercard® Automatic Billing Updater FAQs

What is the Mastercard Automated Billing Updater (ABU)? 
When did this service begin?
Why is this service being offered to cardholders?
How does the Automatic Billing Updater service work? 
What are the benefits of the Mastercard ABU Service? 
Can a cardholder opt-out of this service? 
Will all of my payment information be automatically updated? 
Do you have a list of participating merchants?
What kind of Card-on-File (“COF”) merchants participate in this service? 
What if I do not update my debit and credit card information with participating merchants? 

What is the Mastercard Automated Billing Updater (ABU)?

The Mastercard Automatic Billing Updater (“ABU”) is an automated solution that helps to ensure uninterrupted service for cardholders and uninterrupted payments by updating card-on-file (“COF”) information for recurring and non-recurring payments. This program helps to reduce COF transaction declines due to changed account numbers and/or expiration dates.

When did this service begin?

The Mastercard ABU Service began on October 4, 2017.

Why is this service being offered to cardholders?

The Mastercard ABU Service is required by Mastercard for all consumer and business credit and debit cards.

How does the Automatic Billing Updater service work?

Cardholders generally have recurring payments or a COF set up with a merchant(s). When account changes are made to a cardholder’s account—for example, a debit or credit account number has been changed or an expiration date has been updated—cardholders often do not advise merchants about changed account information, which causes recurring payments to be declined as well as an inconvenience to members. The Mastercard ABU Service allows the updated information to be provided to participating merchants on behalf of the member resulting in fewer declines. The service provides a convenience to members so they do not have to contact each merchant with updated card information.

What are the benefits of the Mastercard ABU Service?

  • Reduces “card not present” declines
  • Helps to ensure on-time bill payment
  • Provides better member service
  • Prevents late fees and service disruption

Can a cardholder opt-out of this service?

Yes. A cardholder can request to opt-out of this service by calling 1-800-535-2557, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM and Saturday from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM. However, they would lose the above mentioned benefits.

Will all of my payment information be automatically updated?

No. The Mastercard ABU Service is only available at participating merchants. They can choose the frequency at which they check for updated payment information. To avoid late payments and penalties, members must check with their merchant to ensure their card information has been updated.

Do you have a list of participating merchants?

No. Participation in this service is at each merchant’s discretion.

What kind of Card-on-File (“COF”) merchants participate in this service?

COF merchants that keep cardholder’s card numbers on file for recurring payments may include phone companies, cable services, utilities, music subscriptions, magazine subscriptions, gym memberships, insurance companies, recurring charitable donations and more.

What if I do not update my debit and credit card information with participating merchants?

Automatic payments will be declined and merchants may charge members a late fee.

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