Monday, May 05, 2003

Visa and Mastercard settled in the Wal-Mart case

Last week, during my holiday, quite some events took place. See the numerous entries below. Most interesting was of course the settlement between Visa, Mastercard and merchants (Wal-Mart being a major retailer/stakeholder in the debate). Bottom line of the quarrel was that Visa and Mastercard forced the acceptance of debit-cards unto merchants that accepted the credit-card in their shop. They did so with a similar price-tag, which is not completely in line with the fact that debit-card payments have a different cost/risk set-up.

Visa and Mastercard did not await the legal ruling but decided to settle. They've agreed to pay money to the retailers, to lower fees and to allow merchants a choice. See:

- Visa's statement on the settlement,

- Mastercards' statement,

- the merchants' counsel press release,

- the New York Times' article,

- commentary by Arik Hesseldahl.

What still strikes me is the vagueness of the press releases by the cards organisations. But that may be due to the fact that there's no need to provide too much information, as that might have a negative impact on other cases/trials in the US or other parts of the world.