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Specifically, MasterCard could well pick up new business from debit card issuers that now have exclusive affiliations with Visa Inc. in which their cards offer the Visa brand for signature debit and Visa’s Interlink network for point-of-sale PIN debit. The Durbin Amendment, part of the sweeping Dodd-Frank financial law enacted last summer, bans such exclusive affiliations and mandates that each debit card offer at least one unaffiliated network in order to give merchants more transaction-routing options.
That’s the optimistic viewpoint of Ajay Banga, the company’s president, during its fourth-quarter earnings call. It would appear that regardless of whether or not the Fed requires debit card issuers to support multiple networks or multiple networks by product type (i.e., PIN and signature), the operative word is “multiple”. Considering the fact that MasterCard has been vocal in their desire to build up their debit market in the U.S., this component of the statute is an opportunity that is only going to come around once in a lifetime. It will not be wasted.