America’s largest lenders made an epic mistake a decade ago when they cashed out of Visa and Mastercard through initial public offerings, says Chenault, who will step down in February as CEO of American Express.
In a surprise move, the Supreme Court will decide whether Amex may bar merchants from steering customers to less expensive card networks. The card issuer will have to prove the consumer gain from its practices outweighs the merchant pain.
Visiting Research FellowChristensen Institute from Tata Consultancy Services
New entrants don’t pose a disruptive threat to the incumbent cohort of issuers, credit card networks and acquirers primarily because the incumbents — Visa, Mastercard and First Data — are prepared to compete in all segments of the market.
The Trump administration is stepping away from the government’s 7-year legal fight with Amex that centers on retailers’ right to encourage the use of particular cards. The decision is good news for issuers of credit and debit cards, though it is hardly the last word on the case.