Issuer Processors

Card issuers and issuer processors enable plan administrators to offer FSA/HRA debit card programs to employer clients. Any issuer or issuer processor using the SIGIS Technical Specification to process IIAS transactions or 90% Rule exceptions is required to be a SIGIS member. Additionally, issuers and issuer processors play an important role in supporting plan administrators with support when FSA/HRA cardholders have questions about card purchases at participating merchants.

Membership in SIGIS offers issuers access to the following programs:

SIGIS IIAS Transaction and Data Retention Specification

The SIGIS Specification outlines the requirements needed for merchants, acquirers, processors, card issuers and plan administrators to support an IIAS. SIGIS requires any Issuer Processor that uses and supports the SIGIS Technical Specification to process IIAS transactions to become certified.

IIAS Certification

To become certified an Issuer Processor must complete the Issuer Processor Self-Assessment Certification form and a technical testing checklist. Once the certification form and checklist are completed, the Issuer Processor will submit it to SIGIS for approval. An Issuer Processor will not be permitted to claim that it supports IIAS or 90% transactions using the SIGIS standards until it has been certified to the IIAS and 90% Rule standards developed and approved by SIGIS.

Regulatory Impact

SIGIS actively engages with the IRS and Treasury Department on rules impacting the use of health benefit cards. SIGIS has led efforts to clarify item eligibility and changes required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

90% Rule Program

Offering FSA/HRA cardholders the opportunity to use their cards at registered 90% Rule merchants is a great way to increase the convenience and usability of an FSA/HRA card program. It is noted that transactions at 90% Rule stores are not auto-substantiated and plan administrators will need to follow their policies for substantiation of such purchases, most likely asking cardholders to forward their sales receipts. Visit the 90% Rule Merchant Attestation for more information.

SIGIS provides additional support through our Help Desk that is available to answer any questions regarding the programs listed above.

Related FAQs

Issuer Processors are only required to be SIGIS certified if they wish to use the SIGIS standards for IIAS and 90% transaction processing to support FSA / HRA cards for SIGIS certified merchants.  Issuer Processors that are not SIGIS certified, will not be able to process FSA / HRA card transactions using the SIGIS IIAS or 90% standards.

SIGIS requires any Issuer Processor that uses and supports the SIGIS Technical Specification to process IIAS transactions to become IIAS certified.

Below are the steps to obtain, complete and submit an Issuer Processor certification.

  1. Click the Login and enter login information.
  2. Click the Access IIAS Forms link on the right hand side of the page.
  3. A new window will open, select the Issuer Processor tab.
  4. Complete the form and submit.

SIGIS will publish a list of SIGIS Members that have registered as 90% Rule merchants. Additionally, SIGIS will publish the acquirer IDs and Card Acceptor IDs of these merchants each week. Issuers and issuer processors that elect to participate in the 90% Rule should use the 90% Rule SFTP Report. The issuer processor should use the MasterCard ICA, Visa BIN, Maestro ICA, Visa Interlink ID, STAR ABA, NYCE ID, ACCEL ID, PULSE ID, CAID and MCC code in the authorization process to determine if it is a 90% Rule merchant. Other fields should not be used, as doing so may cause unnecessary declines. The public 90% Rule report should be used as an informational guide when working with merchants. Issuer and issuer processors must be a SIGIS Member to download the list.