SAN FRANCISCO - Hoping to remove a potential impediment to the growth of its national online debit-card program, Visa U.S.A. has banned merchant surcharges on Interlink Network transactions.

Research conducted for Interlink, a subsidiary of Visa U.S.A., showed that merchant fees as low as 10 cents per transaction have a negative effect on consumers. They are less inclined to use the cards, which allow them to tap their bank accounts to make purchases.

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