The vast majority of U.S. consumers enter into electronic contracts on a regular basis, often more than once a day, when we use the bank’s ATM, pay at the pump using a debit card, or authorize debit or credit card transactions via pen pad devices at local retailers. Every transaction consummated and paid for electronically means somewhere along the way we agreed to the terms of at least one contract.
The laws governing our e-commerce environment have evolved over the last twelve to thirteen years. What began as the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) in 1999 has been enacted with limited variations by forty-seven states, includingPennsylvania. Pennsylvania’s state law governing electronic transactions can be found at Title 73, Chapter 41 of the Pennsylvania Statutes. The UETA was also enacted into federal law, commonly known as the E-Sign Act, in 2000.
The essence of electronic transactions law is that it only applies when the parties to a transaction agree to conduct their business via electronic means. For instance, a review of your banking contract will most likely reveal the inclusion of an agreement to conduct business electronically via your debit card.
In addition to your contract with the bank regarding debit card use, most pen-pad devices in check-out lanes require customers to press “OK” to process the transaction, whether using a credit card, debit card, or gift card. Pressing “OK” consummates yet another contract between a consumer and the retailer.
If your business conducts any business online, or even if it only provides free Wi-Fi for customers, be sure your login screen contains the necessary contract terms to protect you from liability and to ensure your transactions are protected by e-commerce law.
For help with e-commerce issues or any other legal matters related to your business, the attorneys at the Scolieri Law Group, P.C. can help. Located in western Pennsylvania, our attorneys are experienced in Pennsylvania business law and can take care of the details for you every step of the way. Contact us today at (412) 765-0546 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.