Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints


Oct 31, 2012


Visa Inc. Responds to Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy was a storm of historic scale that is disrupting the lives of millions of people. Our thoughts are with those impacted as they manage through this difficult time.

As part of our ongoing commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen, Visa is supporting humanitarian efforts in the following ways:

Corporate contribution: Visa is making a contribution of $300,000 to the American Red Cross to support immediate relief and recovery efforts.

Employee matching gift program: Visa will match employee donations to disaster relief efforts on a two-to-one basis through the end of November.

Interchange fee waive: As part of Visa’s response, interchange fees on U.S. domestic Visa transactions will be waived through the end of November for a select group of U.S.-based charities providing support to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Eligible charities include:

Finally, Visa also will donate our revenue generated from these eligible contributions to the American Red Cross.

We are hopeful that together we can help recover from this disaster and start the rebuilding process.


Posted by: Douglas Sabo, Visa Corporate Responsibility on October 31, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Mar 23, 2011

Diverse Organizations Sound Alarm on Debit Price Controls

What do the National Education Association (NEA), NAACP and Wall Street Journal have in common? All three are unified in their concern about the negative impact debit price controls (A.K.A. the Durbin Amendment) may have on consumers – particularly those in underserved communities – small banks and credit unions.

- The NEA, the largest labor union in the U.S., is the latest organization to call on Congress to delay and study debit price controls. In a letter to Congressional leaders, the NEA notes that debit regulation, “could have a significant negative impact on the cost of mainstream banking services to middle and lower-income consumers, including teachers and education support professionals, because of the benefits currently made possible by debit cards.”
- The NEA’s concerns echo those of the NAACP, which recently told House Speaker John Boehner in a letter, “We believe this rule should be thoroughly and expeditiously reviewed prior to implementation…to ensure that it will not raise fees or otherwise harm at-risk communities, including communities of color.”
- Perhaps no single piece sums up the fight against debit price controls better than last week’s Wall Street Journal editorial (“Debit Card Debacle”), that attests the Durbin Amendment, “…threatens the flow of credit to low-income Americans and promises higher fees on bank services for nearly everyone else….Mr. Durbin pitched his bill as pro-consumer but it was really an attempt to rob banks and debit-card issuers in order to pay off his campaign check writers in the retail industry. As usual, the little guy is getting trampled.”

It is clear that when various organizations like the NEA, NAACP and Wall Street Journal are unified in their opposition to legislation our representatives should take notice and take action. We hope Congress will heed the concerns of these organizations and delay implementation. After all, isn’t that the reasonable thing to do?

Read more about the growing momentum behind efforts to delay and study the debit price control regulation in today’s Wall Street Journal.


Posted by: Will Valentine, Visa Corporate Relations on March 23, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Feb 17, 2011

Washington, D.C. ALERT! Bernanke Weighs in on Small Bank Carve Out of Debit Price Control Legislation.

There’s a very busy agenda in Washington, D.C. today for the payment industry as it attempts to draw attention to the unintended consequences of the debit provisions of the Dodd-Frank law.

In addition to Josh Floum’s testimony before the House Financial Services Subcommittee, Chairman Bernanke just offered his own blunt assessment of the proposed “carve out” for smaller financial institutions:

“We are not certain how effective that exemption will be. It is possible that because merchants will reject more expensive cards from smaller institutions or because networks will not be willing to differentiate the interchange fee for issuers of different sizes it is possible that the exemption will not be effective in the marketplace.”


Posted by: Will Valentine, Visa Corporate Relations on February 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Feb 17, 2011

Visa to Testify at First Hearing on the Debit Price Control Legislation

Today, Visa’s General Counsel Josh Floum will testify on the debit card regulation provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions & Consumer Credit. (Watch the Hearing live here beginning at 10:00 AM EST). We appreciate that the House is dedicating time to discuss this important legislation, which has the potential to harm consumers, small financial institutions and the economy as a whole. And we’re encouraged that this price control legislation finally is being debated after being rushed through last year without committee consideration or even a House vote.


Posted by: Will Valentine, Visa Corporate Relations on February 17, 2011 at 9:00 am

Dec 21, 2010

Senator Dodd: Debit interchange proposals “maybe one where the Fed is overreaching”

Senator Chris Dodd has joined Congressman Barney Frank in expressing concern about the debit-related provisions in the sweeping legislation that bears their names.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published earlier today, Senator Dodd tells the Wall Street Journal that “[the ‘interchange’ proposal dealing with credit and debit card fees paid by retailers] is maybe one where the Fed is overreaching.”


Posted by: Will Valentine, Visa Corporate Relations on December 21, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Jun 18, 2010

A Few Thoughts About Australia

The word “Australia” is often invoked during the current U.S. interchange debate, and with good reason.  With a large economy and a sophisticated payment industry, it illustrates the potential unintended consequences of the price controls proposed by the Durbin Amendment.

About 6 months ago (late November), the New York Times actually did an in-depth review of the  impact of credit card regulation and price controls in Australia titled “U.S. Looks to Australia on Credit Card Fees” (although we here at Visa were admittedly partial to the story’s original headline online “Australian Credit Card Fee Curbs Backfired” featured in the graphic below).


Posted by: Will Valentine, Visa Corporate Relations on June 18, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Jun 15, 2010

Digital Currency Saves US Taxpayers Billions of Dollars (But Don’t Just Take Our Word For It)

The next development in the Durbin Amendment saga will be a hearing tomorrow in Washington, DC to discuss ways to save money for the United States taxpayer.

Well – on this particular point – Visa shares common ground with Senator Durbin: we 100% agree that saving the American taxpayers’ money should be the government’s No.1 priority.

For nearly a decade, Visa has worked with government entities across America to drive greater efficiencies and transparency by migrating check-based government disbursement programs to a clearly better option: prepaid cards.


Posted by: Will Valentine, Visa Corporate Relations on June 15, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Jun 14, 2010

Unlikely Bedfellows Unite Against Durbin Amendment

Q: What do the following individuals and groups have in common?


Posted by: Will Valentine, Visa Corporate Relations on June 14, 2010 at 10:15 am

Jun 11, 2010

State Treasurers Highlight Another Main Street Victim of Durbin Amendment: Under-banked Individuals

Many of you have viewed our Currency of Progress video focusing on the benefits the government and citizens of Nebraska have seen through their use of Visa prepaid cards. The video shows first-hand how the government of Nebraska has realized significant savings and citizens are benefiting from secure payments for food stamps, Social Security, unemployment and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families in Nebraska.


Posted by: Will Valentine, Visa Corporate Relations on June 11, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Jun 11, 2010

Community Banks on Durbin Amendment: “No Thanks!”

The same groups that Senator Durbin and big box retailers claim would be the beneficiaries of their proposed amendment, such as small banks and consumer advocates, are now joining in opposition of the amendment.

The chorus of criticism of this bill is comprised of a wide variety of voices, from hip hop mogul Russell Simmons, to state treasurers to chairmen of small community banks and editorial staff of local newspapers.  In addition to the arguments Visa is making in Washington and in this very blog, these groups are advocating heavily to protect community banks and community members, including the unbanked who would likely be hit hard by the Durbin amendment.


Posted by: Will Valentine, Visa Corporate Relations on June 11, 2010 at 6:11 pm