| May 5, 2011

Proposed rule could help MasterCard catch Visa

A rule intended to help consumers avoid taking on credit card debt could have the unintended effect of cutting revenues for the world’s largest payment processing network. Meanwhile, its main competitor would be far less affected.

Visa, the world’s largest payment network, stands to lose far more in revenues as a result of a proposed bill that would limit how much banks can charge for processing debit card transactions, according to a report from the financial news site The Street. This is because unlike MasterCard – its primary competitor – the majority of Visa’s revenues (58 percent) are derived from debit card transactions.

MasterCard, meanwhile, has a far smaller share of its revenues come from this type of purchase at just 38 percent, meaning the restriction would not have as severe an impact, the report said.

The proposed regulation would limit the price banks could charge to merchants for a debit card transaction to just 11 cents, down significantly from the current average of 44 cents. The rule could go into effect later this summer.

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