The landscape for digital commerce is constantly evolving, and each new technology innovation introduces a complex web of legal issues.

At Hunton & Williams LLP, our lawyers are highly experienced in representing clients in transactions at the forefront of digital commerce technology, and advising on a wide range of issues and challenges within the dynamic electronic commerce and payments ecosystems.  

We work closely with our award-winning privacy and cybersecurity team to help clients manage global flows of consumer and payment-related data. We also are highly integrated with our advertising and marketing, competition, intellectual property and regulatory practices, bringing together a multidisciplinary team of lawyers to address the unique challenges presented by digital commerce transactions. 

Our clients include consumer products companies, retailers, financial institutions, payment networks, technology companies and service providers.

Our lawyers have counseled numerous clients on e-commerce and internet issues covering an extensive range of technologies, from classic web-enabled commerce to leading edge innovations. We routinely advise clients on issues relating to:

  • e-commerce agreements with order fulfillment providers;
  • web design and hosting services;
  • customer call center outsourcing;
  • data analytics services;
  • omni-channel initiatives and the strategic convergence of in-store and digital marketing strategies;
  • content-providing arrangements, social network platform integrations and issues unique to user-provided content;
  • website terms of use and privacy policies; and
  • sweepstakes, promotions and customer loyalty programs.

Our lawyers are familiar with the leading e-commerce and mobile commerce business models, technologies, service providers and consultancies, as well as applicable regulations, industry standards and operating rules, including the FTC Telemarketing Sales Rule, PCI DSS and the DMA’s Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice.

Mobile Commerce
Hunton & Williams is highly experienced in negotiating transactions on the cutting edge of mobile technology. Our lawyers have advised on a broad range of legal matters in the United States and abroad, including transactions involving:

  • the development and provisioning of mobile “apps”;
  • negotiation of relationships with third-party channels to enhance user access to the applications;
  • participation in mobile wallet, mobile payment and token service programs;
  • procurement of point-of-sale technology for acceptance of contactless and mobile payments; and
  • mobile banking and remote deposit capture solutions.

We advise clients on myriad traditional legal issues relating to the growth of mobile and wireless mainstreams, including addressing consumer protection and privacy concerns heightened by the perceived closer linkage to an individual’s identity, location-based services, mobile payments, the industry practice of creating and storing user profiles to "personalize" the user experience, and the real and perceived security deficiencies in the technological architecture for the mobile service.

E-signature and Related Technologies
To keep up with the lightening pace of digital commerce, businesses are increasingly moving to a paperless environment, which comes with its own set of challenges. Our lawyers have a deep understanding of the statutory framework supporting the use of electronic signatures and the creation and retention of legally binding electronic contracts. We have assisted numerous clients, including large corporate users, financial institutions, healthcare providers, manufacturers, public utilities, telecommunication providers and technology providers, including software companies licensing commercial electronic signature solutions, in using, designing and implementing electronic signatures and electronic records policies and systems in compliance with the requirements of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN), the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and other laws. We routinely advise our clients on legal issues at each stage of the electronic transaction lifecycle, including:

  • the use of electronic signatures and electronic records in e-commerce and other transactions;
  • the design and implementation of electronic contracting systems;
  • the use of electronic records to satisfy record retention requirements;
  • the design of systems to facilitate the electronic delivery of consumer disclosures required by statute in compliance with the consumer disclosure requirements of ESIGN;
  • the development of website terms of use, online terms and conditions, terms of sale and website privacy policies; and
  • the use and enforceability of “click-wrap,” “browse-wrap” and “sign-in” wrap agreements.

In the payments industry, technology innovations, market access and interconnectivity have created tremendous opportunities for financial institutions, merchants, technology providers and consumers to reformulate commerce. These opportunities, however, introduce substantial civil, criminal and public relations risks to all players of the payments ecosystem. We understand the legal, regulatory and commercial issues underlying the complex payments framework and have advised clients in the full range of issues involving payment transactions. 

In addition to traditional payment models, we have represented clients in high-profile, cutting-edge emerging technologies in the mobile, online and electronic payments arenas. We represent some of the world’s largest financial institutions, payment networks and merchants in the payments space. Our work includes:

  • negotiating merchant acquirer, payment processor, payment gateway and sponsorship agreements;
  • advising on participation in mobile wallets and other emerging payment platform programs;
  • representing issuers in network participation agreements;
  • negotiating agreements for credit card, check and prepaid card processing services;
  • advising on compliance with payment network rules and other payment industry standards;
  • negotiating agreements for core bank processing, debit card and ATM processing, remote deposit capture, and other FinTech services;
  • advising on transactions for the procurement of POS hardware and software for brick-and-mortar retail locations;
  • advising on data security, including compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA DSS); and
  • advising on privacy and transaction data use rights.