Legally Speaking: Tips for VARs and ISVs

By: Jill Miller, RSPA General Counsel 

RetailNOW 2022 was everything I hoped it would be for the RSPA community.  Personally, I was able to meet a large number of members as I attended many of the sessions and social hours and walked the tradeshow floor.  I had the opportunity to address the membership at the General Session, and for those of you unable to attend the show in person, set forth below is a recap of my remarks.    

RSPA Member Legal Benefit
The RSPA website provides its members with access to dozens of form documents to be used in their business.  These forms are made available in the resources section of the RSPA website under the legal documents tab.  Some form documents are used by members as a starting point to enter into a new relationship with a vendor, employee or sales agent.  Other form documents can be used as a resource to be sure your company has considered certain terms that may be missing from an agreement presented to your company.  Finally, there is an entire section dedicated to security.  The RSPA has a Security Advisor, Nathan Sweeney, who is eager to share his knowledge with the membership about security matters and best practices.   

Another member legal benefit is connecting with me directly.  My contact information is on the RSPA website, or you can reach out to your RSPA member services manager to request an introduction.  I have communicated with hundreds of our members in person, via zoom meetings, via email and on phone calls over the past two years.  Our members are in various stages of common business cycles, and with each interaction, we are able to collaborate on how to navigate the unique elements and challenges of their particular circumstances.   

Member Hot Topics 
I highlighted three topics at the General Session at RetailNOW 2022:

  • Surcharge Programs/Cash Discount Programs.  These programs are under scrutiny by the card brands, and you should contract with a partner who: (1) can provide you with the information your customers need to comply with applicable state and federal laws and card brand rules; (2) has a well-established merchant training program; and (3) guarantees in writing their program is fully compliant.   
  • Federal Data Privacy Law.  The American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA) is a bi-partisan federal data privacy and protection bill introduced in the House of Representatives in June 2022.  The ADPPA has made it further along than previous federal data privacy bills.  There are countless opinions regarding whether or not the ADPPA will become law, so we will be watching this bill closely in the coming months.  
  • The Sale of Your Business.  Know in advance that it is a lot of work.  Keep your records in an organized fashion.  Include your payment details in one of the transaction agreements as opposed to emailing the information to avoid any fraudulent/unauthorized redirection of sale proceeds.   

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at RetailNOW 2022 and look forward to seeing many of you in person at Inspire 2023.  As always, if you have any legal questions, the RSPA legal benefit is available to members, and I would be delighted to assist.  Stay safe.