Merchant Associations Want Visa To Remedy EMV Rules

Merchant associations that represent tens of thousands of U.S. merchants are calling on Visa to provide steps to remedy what they say is violation of rules regarding EMV.

In a press release, the group said it sent a letter to Visa CEO Charles Scharf and CEO-Designate Al Kelly after the Federal Reserve declared the technical specifications and rules provided to merchants as part of the move to EMV violated federal law. The group said the Federal Reserve declared no payment card network can directly or indirectly force retailers to deploy technology or enforce rules that inhibit merchants’ routing choice. The group noted Visa disclosed this week that the Federal Trade Commission is looking into its rules related to routing.

“The rollout of EMV technology has been woefully mismanaged by the card networks … On behalf of millions of merchants and their customers across the United States, we urge you to present a clear and speedy process for resolving this issue that ensures merchants face no additional costs while they remove these noncompliant, confusing customer checkout screens,” the associations said in the press release.

The letter sent to Visa was signed by members of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, Merchant Advisory Group, National Association of College Stores, National Association of Convenience Stores, National Grocers Association, National Retail Federation, Petroleum Marketers Association of America and Food Marketing Institute.

“The free market principle of merchants choosing network services and providers is critical to ensuring competition in the debit market,” the associations went on to say in the press release highlighting the letter. “Visa used its overwhelming market share to impose their proprietary EMV chip technology that stifles competition.”

The associations contend the Federal Reserve’s recent clarification on the matter calls into question if Visa’s rules and practices that made merchants install and configure terminals that limited the routing option to Visa are legal.