Visa shares fall following increased regulations

Visa Inc.’s shares fell on Wednesday after the company reported decreased debit-card spending in April and May as a result of increased regulations.

U.S. payments volume, a measure of the total dollar amount of transactions made with debit and credit cards, fell by three percent in April and remained flat over the first four weeks of May compared with last year, 4-Traders reports.

The company’s performance was a result of decreased debit card spending as new regulations that govern the card network industry take effect. The new regulations were projected to have the biggest impact on Visa as the largest debit card network in America.

Though performance in debit card spending was low, credit card spending increased by eight percent in April and 10 percent in May. Visa CFO Byron Pollitt said that banks are pushing credit instead of debit for everyday purchases.

“The most resilient and encouraging part of our business has been the growth of credit, not just in the United States…but globally,” Pollitt said, 4-Traders reports.

American banks are expected to promote the use of credit over debit cards as a result of the increased regulations. The Durbin Amendment, a provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, cut heavily into the fee amount that large financial institutions can charge merchants to process a transaction.

Another provision that took effect last month requires that all banks allow at least two unaffiliated card processing networks on their debit cards to allow merchants a choice in payment network, according to 4-Traders.

Visa’s new pricing strategy introduced earlier this year includes incentive payments designed to reduce pricing for merchants, variable transaction fees and a fixed fee required to enter the Visa network. Earlier this month, Visa announced that the Department of Justice has initiated an investigation into the move to look for possible anti-competition violations.

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