Visa, MasterCard turn up heat on mobile wallets

Visa, MasterCard turn up heat on mobile wallets

21 MAR 2013

Visa CEO Charlie Scharf (pictured) has suggested that the credit card firm could introduce a fee for mobile and digital wallet operators such as PayPal. MasterCard has previously announced a similar fee starting in June 2013.

“I think it is totally appropriate to do that,” said Scharf when asked by Reuters during an event whether Visa was planning to introduce its own digital wallet fee.

MasterCard will charge its new fee on so-called staged digital wallets, such as PayPal, Google Wallet, iZettle and Intuit, according to a research report by Nomura. Staged wallets retain some valuable data about users and transactions rather than forwarding it to the credit card firms.

It is unclear whether the new fee would also apply to mobile operators’ wallets, for instance Isis, a joint venture between the three largest operators in the US.

The MasterCard fee will only apply in the US.

“Allowing data to be passed through to our issuers and then not allowing data to be passed through to our issuers makes us re-think about our pricing and our rules,” said Scharf.

The likes of iZettle and Intuit enable small businesses to process card payments using a smartphone or tablet. However, market leader Square is not included, according to one report which said it provides the card companies with the data they require.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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