Visa and MasterCard together processed $7.4 trillion in purchases last year. Neither sees bitcoin as a threat to their businesses. Neither does Discover Financial Services. Nor does MoneyGram.
“My card (with EMV chip) got skimmed while in the UK. Ton of fraudulent txns. Wouldn’t have happened if merchant accepted PayPal…” Marcus Tweeted.
The swipe-and-sign credit card transaction for U.S. consumers will soon be history, replaced by the “chip and PIN” process already in use throughout Europe and other parts of the world. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Visa and MasterCard are committed to replacing the old swipe system by October 2015.
Visa has the largest electronic payments network and its not about to fear the bitcoin ecosystem. Moreover — and potentially troubling for the payment giant — Visa is not keeping a close eye on virtual currency developments.
To date, Visa, MasterCard and Discover have notified the retailer that about 2,400 individual customer payment cards used at Neiman Marcus and Last Call stores “were subsequently used fraudulently,” says a statement on the Neiman Marcus website.
In Europe and Canada, payment cards have smart chips installed and corresponding readers are used at retailers and other establishments, making it harder for thieves to conduct the kind of data breaches that hit Target and other U.S. brick-and-mortar businesses.
PayPal has sent out an email to its users that’s takes a bit of a cheap shot at Target’s huge security breach, during which the accounts of 40 million credit and debit card users were stolen. It’s also a bit of a swipe at Visa and MasterCard, the two payment network giants.
But it’s an uphill battle for the dominant online payment facilitator. eBay-owned PayPal wants to expand from its Internet base to physical stores.
In 2012, U.S. debit and prepaid card volume grew $129 billion, or 7.0 percent, compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, credit card volume that same year grew by 8.4 percent, or $172 billion.
This may be a good time to take advantage of those “0% balance transfer” deals because their overall value has peaked and will diminish before improving again.