Peter Larkin // National Grocers Association
As you know NGA has been engaged in an ongoing effort to bring about relief for independent supermarkets that have made the investment in EMV terminals but have not yet been able to get certified to accept EMV transactions. As a result, retailers have incurred significant chargebacks from card issuers. We have worked with federal regulators and Congress on this issue and have also been in direct communication with Visa, beginning with a letter I sent them in March. I am pleased to report that our efforts are beginning to pay off.
Yesterday Visa announced a number of positive steps for addressing EMV chargebacks and the certification process (summarized below). While this announcement is a step in the right direction we recognize it does not address existing chargebacks nor does it fully protect merchants from larger chargebacks. It is, however, a step forward and recognition by Visa that problems do exist for both the certification process and excessive issuer chargebacks. NGA will be continuing our multi-pronged approach to addressing ongoing problems with EMV.
Here is a summary of Visa’s release:
- Merchant Chargeback Relief In recognition that some card issuers are issuing excessive chargebacks to merchants, effective July 22, 2016 Visa will block all chargebacks to merchants under $25. Additionally, effective October 2016 – April 2018 issuers will be limited to charging back 10 fraudulent transactions per account.
- Acquirers Can Self-Certify Merchants This will allow a merchant’s acquirer to self-certify a merchant if they know the merchant’s systems are in compliance. This will effectively eliminate a step in the certification process that added wait times for merchants.
- Additional Funding Resources to Speed Up Certifications Visa will provide additional funding to help acquirers add resources where necessary and funding to software companies to be able to pre-certify their technology for EMV terminals.
Again, we recognize this by no means addresses the significant chargebacks that many NGA members have already incurred; however this announcement is a positive step forward and will bring some relief to merchants while putting pressure on issuing banks who have been issuing excessive chargebacks. NGA will keep up our efforts, especially with the other card networks, and continue our dialogue with Visa and others.
As always if you have questions do not hesitate to contact me or Greg Ferrara, SVP Government Relations & Public Affairs (firstname.lastname@example.org)