MasterCard (NYSE:MA) today announced a new initiative to help smaller merchants create efficiencies in their operations by accepting electronic payments. The effort combines changes to the company’s U.S. region rules with best practices and insights developed from conversations with smaller merchants. The new standards deliver greater transparency and value to smaller business owners. In the standard, acquirers and payment service providers are required to provide their customers with a clear and detailed disclosure of the fees they are charged, while also ensuring a minimum of 30 days’ notice before they modify any fees related to MasterCard transactions. “For nearly half a century, electronic payments have helped businesses of all sizes increase sales and deliver additional convenience for their customers,” said Craig Vosburg, group executive of U.S. Market Development, MasterCard. “Through these new standards and best practices, we’re bringing years of experience and proven results to help merchants evaluate and choose the best partner to help control costs and maximize the opportunities to grow their business.” MasterCard developed the new standards in consultation with its customers and partners, as well as community organizations through its Master Your Card and Master Your Card Oportunidad public education programs. “Small merchants are the engines that drive the economy forward,” said Hector Barreto, chairman, The Latino Coalition. “I praise MasterCard’s new standards because they clear the path for Latino small business owners to move forward with the sales growth potential achievable through card acceptance.” In addition to the new standards, MasterCard also formally launched two interactive education modules designed to provide merchants with resources to optimize their business operations. The “Merchant’s Guide to Chargebacks” outlines ten helpful ways merchants can minimize the risk of chargebacks, while providing tips on navigating the process, should an issuer request compensation for a disputed transaction on behalf of a cardholder. The “Partnering with a Merchant Service Provider” presentation provides merchants with key themes they might consider when selecting or evaluating a payment service provider.