In these economic times, it is heart-warming to see retailers reaching out to consumers with an offer that’s almost too good to be true. If the Senate amendment to place government price controls on debit fees becomes law, the nation’s retailers are planning to celebrate in style. No, we’re not talking about passing these savings directly to consumers at the point of sale. We’re talking about…“free gift-wrapping.”
That’s right, you heard correctly, Mallory Duncan, the National Retail Federation’s general counsel, is saying consumers might be offered free gift wrapping services instead of lower prices.
Apologies for the sarcasm, but it’s hard not to raise an eyebrow when proponents of the cynical Senate amendment can’t even keep a straight face about the benefits that would be passed onto consumers if big box retailers see reduced debit card fees. All this while they get to keep all the benefits of electronic payments, including guaranteed payment, faster check out times, and increased sales.
Posted by: Richard Martin, Visa Corporate Relations on May 27, 2010 at 3:43 pm
We’re pleased to see influential voices covering the interchange debate highlight the unintended consequences that could result from the Durbin amendment on debit interchange, which The Economist described as “draconian.” As we type, we are seeing more and more, major news outlets – no matter which side of the aisle they usually lean – question what this amendment actually means for consumers.
Posted by: Will Valentine, Visa Corporate Relations on May 21, 2010 at 6:25 pm
Over the last few days, the entire payments industry has been working tirelessly to make it clear to the public the huge mistake that is the amendment introduced by Senator Durbin to the financial regulatory reform bill. Our views on the negative impact of this amendment are summarized in an op-ed from Joe Saunders that was published by Politico on Friday.
In it, and not surprisingly, we argue for the removal of the amendment from the financial regulatory reform bill. In addition to highlighting the benefits of electronic payments and why interchange is necessary, it calls out the amendment for what it really is: a last minute addition promoted by a group of mega-retailers that want all the benefits, safety and convenience of electronic payments, but don’t want to pay for it (and instead would prefer to shift that burden to their customers). They hired lobbyists and slipped this past Senators who were aiming to pass a bill that would protect consumers. We now need to fix it.
Posted by: Will Valentine, Visa Corporate Relations on May 21, 2010 at 5:28 pm
On behalf of Visa Inc., we’d like to welcome you to the “Visa Viewpoints” blog. This is our newest channel for communicating with those of you that keep tabs on us as a company or are interested in the growth of digital currency. Some of you may keep a close eye on Visa happenings and others may just check in from time to time. In any circumstance, we hope Visa Viewpoints will provide you with enough relevant and interesting content to warrant becoming a recurring destination in your internet browsing routine.
What kind of information can you expect to find here? The latest news from Visa and why it matters, of course. We also intend to share our viewpoints on relevant issues and, when appropriate, debunk any misperceptions we see persisting about Visa as a company or our industry at large. Importantly, we plan to cover the topics that we feel are most relevant to our audiences – and we hope you will play a part in shaping the agenda through your thoughts and feedback.
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Posted by: Visa Corporate Relations Team on May 21, 2010 at 9:41 am