CU Cards Will Have As Much Appeal As A 'Hot Lump of Coal'

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WASHINGTON-No matter what actions Visa or MasterCard take in supporting a two-tier debit payment system, CU members may as well hand retailers a "hot lump of coal" instead of the CU's debit card, according to one person.

"The fact is no matter what we do to support a two-level payment structure, when Walmart sees your members walk in with your cards, they will know it will cost them five times more than the big issuers," MasterCard Worldwide's Tucker Foote said.

Foote gave little assurance that MasterCard will support a two-tier system, but said the firm will do whatever it can to grow its CU business.

Dan McDermott, head of U.S. government relations for Visa-which is supporting a two-tier structure-shared that Visa's intentions "have always been to come up with a two-tier system. And we will bear the technology cost." But he stated that it is not realistic to think that creating a new system to read cards will be in place by the April deadline.

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