Comments on: U.S. $16 bln debit fee clampdown needs a do-over http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2011/03/09/u-s-16-bln-debit-fee-clampdown-needs-a-do-over/ Mon, 26 Sep 2016 03:26:00 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Sarge44 http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2011/03/09/u-s-16-bln-debit-fee-clampdown-needs-a-do-over/comment-page-1/#comment-6644 Thu, 10 Mar 2011 18:22:06 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/columns/?p=5494#comment-6644 Anthony,

Did you just come from a lobbyist briefing session? You should have talked with some merchants to get their perspectives as well.

How is the Visa and MasterCard networks and debit transactions occuring on them in the U.S. “less efficient” than elsewhere? REALLY? They are the same networks. A U.S. signature debit transaction in Minnesota goes through the same steps as one in Australia or South Africa.

Then you write “one reason U.S. fees are so high is because Americans still sign for the majority of debit card transactions rather than using a pin code.”

Whose fault is that? Visa, MasterCard and the banks have worked for 20 years to strangle PIN services to death, Visa owns the largest U.S. PIN network, Interlink with 40% of market share, and has driven the interchange rates up several hundred percent since 1990 to cripple merchant incentives to steer customers to PIN. Add on top of that the network’s merchant operating rules that for years inhibited or prevented merchant’s ability top steer customers to PIN. PIN debit is now distorted in the U.S. because that is what Visa, MC, and the large banks wanted to have happen.

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