retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that Kroger is suing Visa "over debit-card transactions, saying the payment network has levied fines against it and threatened to raise fees and cut off its acceptance of debit cards if the grocery chain doesn’t allow customers to verify purchases with a signature instead of a personal identification number ... The lawsuit represented the latest step in a burst of legal activity between merchants and the card industry, which have been fighting over fees and other issues for decades. It comes after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. sued Visa in May over similar debit-card issues."

PIN-based transactions are said to be both more secure and less expensive to process.

When Kroger configured its terminals to require a PIN rather than a signature, that's when Visa informed the retailer that it was in violation of its terms of service, according to the suit. "Kroger said Visa levied fines of $7 million against it after it didn’t change its practices and told the merchant it would raise the fees it charges to process debit transactions. Kroger also said Visa threatened to cut off Kroger’s ability to accept all Visa debit cards."

Visa has not yet commented on the suit.

According to the story, "Kroger says it rang up $29 billion in Visa debit-card transactions last year."
KC's View:
I am so fed up with the banks pushing for customers to use a system that is less secure because it makes them more money ... because the gazillions they make just aren't enough.

I think Kroger should post a copy of one of the stories about its lawsuit at every checkout in the country. Make the point that it is looking out for its customers, and Visa is only looking out for itself. Be specific, and be loud. (I'd suggest that kroger try to shame Visa and the banks, but I'm not sure they are capable of being shamed.)