Giant US retailer Best Buy drops Visa contactless

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Best Buy has stopped accepting Visa payWave contactless payments at its 1000 stores in protest at the card giant’s fee structure, according to retail technology blog.

Best Buy introduced Visa contactless payments in August 2007 and the technology was rolled out across its entire store network by the following year. However, last July Best Buy expressed its unhappiness with Visa’s policy of forcing merchants to accept signature authorisation for contactless payments rather than the cheaper PIN system.

According to the New York Times, stores are charged more than twice as much for the processing of signature-based transactions as for PIN payments. ‘StorefrontBacktalk’ cites a Best Buy statement from July warning “we are evaluating the continued acceptance of Visa-issued contactless payment cards in our stores in light of recent price increases”.

By November the firm had stopped accepting Visa contactless debit transactions in all its stores. A Best Buy executive told the blog the decision was based on the costs associated contactless transactions being processed as signature debits. Best Buy is still accepting Visa magstripe cards and contactless payment offerings from other card companies.