Consumer Payment Card News

Debit Backlash

Americans love their debit cards and are unhappy when merchants refuse to take them. Nearly 90% of consumers say they would you take their business elsewhere if a merchant refused to accept their VISA or MasterCard-branded debit card. However, Wal-Mart decided this year to stop accepting MasterCard signature debit cards, instead forcing customers to use their PINs to complete a transaction. In an informal poll conducted on CardWeb.com’s homepage during February, 88% of the 1,111 respondents said they would switch to a merchant that accepted their VISA or MasterCard-branded debit cards. A December survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for MasterCard, found that nearly two-thirds of respondents said their feelings toward a store would be negatively impacted if a merchant stopped accepting debit cards. The survey included a nationwide sample of 2,465 adults. Last year, Americans spent $576.4 billion on VISA and MasterCard signature debit cards, a 16% jump over 2002.

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