When you make a purchase with your Visa card, do you notice that you don`t have to stick around to sign the receipt or enter a PIN at the register if the total is less than $25? This is due to Visa`s Easy Payment Service, which allows merchants to streamline their checkout process for those small purchases and wave customers through faster.
Now Visa will raise the amount to $50 beginning in October, initially at grocery stores and drugstores only. After seeing what merchant and cardholder response is, they will consider expanding the $50 limit to more merchant categories.
When customers spend less than the $25 – soon to be $50 – limit, merchants are not required to issue a receipt unless specifically requested by the customer. Customers don`t have to enter a PIN, sign anything, or show ID. This speeds up the checkout process and allows stores to move customers through quickly and provide quicker and more efficient service.
Visa maintains that using a Visa card is quicker and more convenient that using cash, with no need to fish around for pennies and make exact change, or struggle with smoothing out crumpled bills. They say that the Visa Easy Payment Service makes the process even easier, because all customers have to do is swipe their card and go. But is this the best thing for consumers?
Without a receipt, it may be easy to lose track of how much money you`ve spent. Those small charges tend to add up quickly – $5 for toothpaste here and $3 for a loaf of bread there, and suddenly your bank account balance is a lot lower than you thought it was. Is it a good idea to be able to shop so quickly, without a receipt to remind you where your money has gone?
If you have a smartphone, one great way to solve this problem is to download a money-tracking app like Mint or Expenditure, so you can track all your spending without the need to keep receipts. As we become more and more of a cashless society and attempt to use less paper in an effort to be environmentally aware, having a receipt in your hand at the end of a transaction will become less usual and customers won`t expect it.
The other change that Visa is making is that beginning in April 2012, merchants will enjoy full protection from fraudulent chargebacks on any transaction that was done electronically. That means any transaction that was done by swiping, waving, or dipping of a card will be guaranteed against fraud charges on the merchant`s end. This provides peace of mind for the merchant at the same time it provides convenience for the customer.
Visa is hoping that this change will make dispute resolution easier and faster, lessening documentation requirements and helping to reduce fraud management expenses for retailers.
Visa Better than Cash?
All the changes made by Visa aim to make it the card of choice when consumers pull out their wallets to pay. The speedier and more convenient it is to pay with plastic, the more likely that Visa will enjoy increased business – and cash will fall by the wayside even faster than it already is.
Remember, this change does not go into effect until October, and will only apply to drugstores and grocery stores. Credit-Land.com will be the first to let you know when and if the program is expanded.