Client Alert

September, 2016
Two methods of payment now required
 for all commercial establishments
The Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury, in accordance with Section 2.1 of Act No. 170 of August 12, 1968, as amended, known as the "Uniform Administrative Procedure Act of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico," enacted Regulation Regarding Payment Alternatives for Licensed Services and Commercial Establishments in Puerto Rico in connection with Act No. 42 of 2015.

The proposed regulation establishes that any natural o legal person that renders services for which a license authorization is required in order to render those services within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any commercial establishment, must provide at least two (2) payment alternatives to its clients. One of the two payment alternatives shall be by means of debit or credit card. If the alternative of credit card is provided, at least two different types of credit cards shall be admitted and a maximum of ten dollars ($10.00) is the minimum amount that can be accepted only if it's duly notified in the locations where the products and services are sold and rendered, respectively. If any of the two alternatives is not available at the time the customer is paying, the professional or commercial establishment shall offer a third method of payment, the customer always having two (2) or more methods of payment available.

Any commercial establishment or any person rendering licensed services must place a notice in the locations where the products and services are sold and rendered, respectively. The notice must contain a short description of the Law and the Regulation as follows:

Act No. 42-2015 establishes the requirement that every natural or legal person who performs services for which a license or legal authorization is required as a condition for its services within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico must provide at least two (2) payment options to its customers.

This establishment provides the following Alternative Methods of Payment (include those that apply to your business):
  • Cash
  • Credit  cards / Debit cards
  • Check
  • Direct Payment
  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
  • Online Payment
Businesses are to place the applicable available payment alternatives in a visible area to avoid violations of Act No. 42-2015. The notice needs to be readily visible and legible. Suggested areas: the area set for payment of services, the service desk or the reception, among others. In addition, the notice must inform the form and manner in which any citizen can sue under the provisions of Article 7 of the Regulation.

Those providers who do not offer their services from a local office will be responsible for informing their clients, in writing or verbally, on the provisions of Act No. 42-2015 and their payment alternatives. Written notices may be, for example, via book entry, services offer letters, invoices, and or payment receipts used by the business.

Under Article 3 of Act No. 42-2015, any person who violates the provisions of the Act will incur in a misdemeanor and if  convicted, will be punished in the first infraction with a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $3,000. Subsequent violations may incur a fine of not less than $5,000 and not more than $10,000. The Department of the Treasury will realize periodical inspections to verify the implementation of these obligations.

We at Goldman remain committed in alerting and assisting you and your business to adjust to these changes in law. For further information you may contact any of the attorneys in the Corporate Department.

Attorneys -- Corporate & Banking Law Department

Myrna I. Lozada
Marlena Riccio
Thelma Rivera
Arnaldo Villamil
Although the information included in this document may concern legal issues, it is not a legal opinion or professional advice and clients shall not use it as such. We assume no responsibility or liability of any kind for any information contained herein, and we expressly disclaim all liability for any claim for damages arising from the use, reference to, or reliance on, such information. If legal or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.