In recent weeks there have been a number of inaccurate characterizations of Visa's high-risk acquirer program, including a June 2 guest column in American Banker that critiqued Visa's risk-management programs. [Editor's Note: The column, "Flip-Flops at Visa Create Appearance of Impropriety," suggested that Visa policies would tend to push small banks out of the merchant processing business.]
On behalf of Visa and its member banks, I want to set the record straight. The Visa membership, which includes more than 14,000 financial institutions, has a strong interest in promoting safe and sound business practices. As one of the cornerstones of the nation's financial services industry, we have an obligation to manage risk for our entire system. That obligation compels us to adopt practices that protect all members involved and the goodwill of the system in order to ensure its continued viability.