Visa has been quick to downplay suggestions that plans are being hatched to charge digital wallet operators a fee.
Earlier this week, Charlie Scharf, chief executive of the payments platform provider, said that fees might be charged to mobile and digital wallet operators, such as PayPal, as they move more into physical stores. “I think it is totally appropriate to do that,” he said.
MasterCard previously announced a similar fee starting June 2012.
Jim McCarthy, global head of product at Visa – quoted by Reuters – has subsequently denied that such charges are in the pipeline.
Scharf’s comments, says another Visa spokesperson, were really about evolving partnerships with the payment eco-system, rather than unlocking new revenue streams.
The likes of PayPal, however, may not be off the hook for long. “If MasterCard is successful at implementing the fee, Visa will join them,” said Gil Luria, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, quoted by Reuters. “All they said is that they are not doing it yet.”