Visa Settles Debit Pay Screen Tiff
Visa had required merchants to use POS terminals that, when processing a debit card transaction, would present the consumer with two options: “Visa debit” and “U.S. debit.” The former would send transactions only to Visa-affiliated processors, while the latter would allow access to any payment network enabled on the card.
Under pressure from the Federal Trade Commission, Visa has revised its rules to make it clear that merchants can continue to route debit transactions to any payment card network enabled on the card for that transaction, and that merchants are not required to display these application selection screens to their customers. The FTC announced Nov. 21 that its Bureau of Competition will close its investigation into the matter.
The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) had signed a letter along with other trade groups calling on Visa to stop presenting customers with the “Visa debit/U.S. debit” option. FMI president Leslie Sarasin issued a statement Nov. 22 that FMI was “pleased” with the resolution of the matter. However, she added: “While Visa’s actions to change its rules to comply with the law are a significant step in the right direction, it will take some time for grocers who have the confusing screens to replace them. Therefore, FMI requests that Visa prevent additional exposure to liability [for fraudulent transactions] while merchants revise their systems to ensure customers have the safest, most secure and most efficient transactions.”