SAN FRANCISCO -- The sharply increasing cost of gasoline has strained the card payment system and Visa USA has taken steps to try to limit its impact.
The number 1 card brand announced that beginning on July 18, it will cap the interchange charged on gasoline purchases with its debit cards to $0.95 per transaction. The previous rate frequently charged could be as high as 2% of the total purchase price, a figure which rose as the price rose and which gasoline station operators complained effectively eliminated their profit margin.
The card brand also announced it was implementing a number of technical changes which would speed the pace of transactions being posted to cardholder accounts. Currently, charges at gas stations generate holds on accounts and sometimes trigger spending authorization limits."People are frustrated enough with the price of gas today; they shouldn't be frustrated with the payment process as well," said Sheedy. "We took an entirely new approach to processing fuel payments, and created a solution that removes many of the major barriers that consumers and station owners face today at the pump."