Visa Raises “No Signature” Limit to $50 to Increase Merchant Efficiency & Consumer Convenience

Visa Also Plans Change to Dispute Resolution Processes that May Help Reduce Merchant Fraud Management Costs.

Starting in October 2012, Visa Inc. plans to raise its Visa Easy Payment Service "no signature required" limit from $25 to $50 for two key U.S. merchant categories. Discount stores and grocery stores/supermarkets in the U.S. will be able to accept Visa cards for transactions up to $50 without requiring a cardholder signature or PIN, or providing a customer receipt unless requested by the cardholder. According to Visa, this change is designed to increase speed at the point-of-sale, cardholder convenience and operational efficiencies for a large discount stores and grocery stores/supermarkets in the U.S.

Originally called the “No Signature Required” program in the U.S., Visa Easy Payment Service allows merchants to eliminate cardholder verification and receipts on qualifying smaller value transactions. This helps make the payment process easier and more convenient for both merchants and cardholders. The program has been available to the majority of merchant categories in the U.S. since July 2010, for purchases up to $25. The change applies only to Merchant Category Codes (MCCs) 5310 (Discount Stores) and 5411 (Grocery Stores & Supermarkets).

As the $50 limit is introduced, Visa says it will review merchant, cardholder and card issuer feedback and may expand this higher transaction limit to additional merchant categories in the near future. Approximately 80 percent of face-to-face Visa consumer transactions in the U.S. are under $50, according to Visa Inc. Data published in 2011.

"Visa is committed to delivering solutions to help our merchant and financial institution partners better serve their customers, reduce costs and grow their businesses," said William M. Sheedy, Group President, Americas, Visa Inc. "Visa Easy Payment Service has been extremely popular with merchants and cardholders in busy retail environments. As a result, merchants have asked us to expand the program to purchases up to $50, so that they can more efficiently support consumers’ growing preference to use cards instead of cash or checks for everyday purchases."

Updated Dispute Resolution Process

Visa also announced changes to its dispute resolution process to help reduce unnecessary chargebacks and merchant documentation requirements and promote faster, more efficient dispute resolution for all participants in the Visa payments ecosystem.

Starting in April 2013, merchants will be protected from fraud chargebacks on transactions that have been electronically read (i.e., swiped or dipped in, or waved past, a card reader), helping to reduce merchant fraud management costs when appropriate acceptance procedures have been followed at the point of sale. In addition, Visa says it will eliminate the requirement for its card issuers to ask merchants for a copy of the receipt when a cardholder disputes a transaction, resulting in back office operational savings for everyone. However, there is no change to existing fraud liability associated with these changes.

Visa claims the changes to Visa’s Easy Payment Service and dispute resolution process will “help its merchant and financial institution partners to better serve their customers and grow their respective businesses.”