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Visa CEO notes interchange rules impact on CUs
NEW YORK (7/8/11)--As it made its first filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) since the Federal Reserve's final ruling on restricting debit card interchange fees, Visa Inc. said in a conference call Wednesday that it expects credit unions and small banks and other programs to see "unintended consequences" from the rule. Visa CEO Joseph Saunders said Wednesday in the conference call that the 21-cent limit for debit card payments, excluding a fraud-protection fee, allows card issuers to "at least partly defray the cost of running a secure, reliable and efficient debit card program (Dow Jones Newswires via NASDAQ.com July 7). However, Visa continues to believe that the cap "will have unintended consequences as it relates to small banks, credit unions, prepaid and government programs, as well as industry investments in security, innovation and reliability," Saunders said. He indicated the card company would continue to provide "some level of incentives to specific merchants" to ensure they route payments through Visa's network. Any increases in incentives would be "primarily due to significant increases in global volume" rather than regulation or legislation. The company could make concessions about how much it charges financial institutions for processing transactions in order to preserve and grow the business under the new structure, said Visa Chief Financial Officer Byron Pollitt during Wednesday's conference call on the impact of the Fed's rule. In its SEC filing Wednesday Visa said it expects its revenue for this year to grow 11% to 15% and more in 2012. Earnings per class A share are expected to increase more than 20% this year and percentages in the middle to high teens in 2012. Visa's guidance has implications for other credit card programs, said Dow Jones. MasterCard has told its investors to expect more than 20% earnings per share growth this year, next, and in 2013.


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