Tuesday February 10, 2004

MasterCard Signature Debit Denied at Wal-Mart Stores

Retail giant cites higher fees as reason for denial.
By Chris Motola

    Shoppers hoping to make a purchase their local Wal-Mart with a convenient swipe of their MasterCard-signed debit cards will have to find another way of completing their transactions.

    As of February 1, 2004, Wal-Mart, Oswego County?s fifth largest employer, stopped accepting MasterCard signature debit cards, citing higher transaction fees when compared to other debit cards.

    "As a result of the merchants' lawsuit settlement, MasterCard can no longer require acceptance of its signature debit card as a condition of accepting its credit card," said Mike Cook, Wal-Mart's vice president and assistant treasurer. "The fees charged by MasterCard for its signature debit are simply too high, which led us to eliminate this payment option rather than pass these costs on to our customers."

    The Merchant lawsuit, which was settled in June 2003, challenged the mandatory acceptance of MasterCard- and Visa-branded signature-based debit cards with the acceptance of credit cards of the same name on anti-trust grounds. As part of the agreement, MasterCard will also pay eligible merchants $100 million a year for ten years. Wal-Mart Stores Inc, was one of the primary instigators of the lawsuit.

    Wal-Mart will continue to accept MasterCard credit cards and debit card users will still be able to use their cards through PIN-based networks such as STAR, ACCEL, NYCE, and AFFN to make their purchases.

    According to company spokesperson Melissa Berryhill, less than one percent of Wal-Mart?s overall transactions last year were signature-based debit.

Oswego County Business Magazine
Issue 158

Issue 158
October/November 2018

Cover Story


Nancy Fox

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Last Page

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