MEMPHIS Concord EFS Inc. has won a contract from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to process online debit transactions for Wal-Mart and Sams Club stores nationwide, the electronic funds transfer company announced Monday.
Concord, which already processes Wal-Mart payments made with electronic benefits transfer cards, said it will route a portion of Wal-Marts online debit volume to its networks for authorization. Concord owns the MAC network and is acquiring Star Systems Inc. of Maitland, Fla., the nations largest regional network.
Wal-Mart sets high standards for itself and its providers, so were very proud the company has chosen to expand its relationship with us, said Edward A. Labry 3d, president of Concord. With online debit and EBT among the fastest-growing transactions in retailing, we see Wal-Marts decision as a vote of confidence in Concords processing capacity, expertise, and service.
Wal-Marts interest in promoting online debit cards (also known as PIN-based debit cards) over offline debit (or signature-based debit cards) is well-known. PIN-based debit transactions cost retailers less than signature-based transactions, which are routed through Visa and MasterCard.
The retail giant is the lead plaintiff in a class action pending against the card associations over debit card rules; a hearing is scheduled Feb. 4 to address Visa and MasterCards challenge to the grant of class-action status.