Will Merchants’ Lawsuit Against Visa and Mastercard Alter the Future of Debit Cards?

Depending on the outcome, a little-noticed lawsuit creeping its way through the courts could seriously impact credit/debit card-issuing credit unions’ programs and revenue. The suit was filed in 1996 by retail giants Wal-Mart, The Limited, Sears, Safeway and Circuit City against the Visa and MasterCard associations. The merchants claim that the associations’ “honor all cards” rule, whereby they are required to accept Visa Check and Master Money off-line debit cards as a condition of their ability to accept the associations’ credit cards is an illegal arrangement, a violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust law and saddles retailers with paying exorbitant fixed prices, resulting in billions of dollars of damages to them.




Feb. 1, 2001



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