VISA SAYS CARDS NOT ACCEPTED AT SINGAPORE’S COMFORT TAXIS
(The following is a reformatted statement issued by Visa on its Singapore website, http://www.visa.com.sg/aboutvisa/mediacenter/press.shtml)
Singapore, 12 July 2013
Visa emphasizes that surcharging Visa payment cards is unacceptable
From Monday 15 July, Visa cards will no longer be accepted at all ComfortDelGro and Trans Cab taxis in Singapore following the company’s unwillingness to remove the 10% surcharge it applies to fares paid on Visa payment cards.
Visa has made this decision to uphold Visa’s no surcharge protection policy, which protects cardholders from paying additional fees simply for using their payment cards of choice.
Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa country manager for Singapore and Brunei, says surcharging is harmful to consumers.
“We believe that consumers should be free to choose their preferred form of payment and those who decide to pay with payment cards should not be penalized. For Singapore’s commuters and international visitors the use of payment cards makes paying for taxi fares more convenient, secure and reliable. Unfortunately after lengthy discussions with ComfortDelGro we could not reach an agreement that was fair to consumers, so we were left with no choice but to remove Visa card acceptance.”
“Visa’s no surcharging protection was created specifically to shield consumers from merchants who seek to impose surcharge fees and penalize consumers who choose Visa over other forms of payment. Surcharging unfairly shifts the cost of doing business onto consumers. We remain open to working with ComfortDelGro and other taxi companies and welcome the opportunity to talk with them further to review their surcharging practices,” added Ooi.
Visa and its financial institutions have been working together to reduce surcharging in the country and provide greater protection to consumers. In August 2012, a Visa audit found 9% of Singaporean merchants to be imposing surcharges or minimum spend policies. However, by November 2012 a follow up audit found that this had reduced to 2.8%.
“Our research shows a strong shift away from the practice of merchant surcharging. We firmly stand by our belief that cardholders are entitled to the right to card choice without penalty and we will continue to work with our financial institution partners and merchants to ensure the practice of card surcharging is not permitted in Singapore,” added Ooi.
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks -- VisaNet -- that is capable of handling more than 30,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.