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Chip Cards Slap U.S. Merchants With Unexpected Higher Debit Fees

  • Terminals seen favoring Visa, MasterCard signature systems
  • Wal-Mart suit highlights issue facing retailers of all sizes

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s lawsuit this week against Visa Inc. over how debit transactions are verified is casting a spotlight on an issue that’s been plaguing U.S. retailers since they began accepting European-style chip cards last year.

Some merchants have seen their debit-transaction fees increase by about 20 percent since Oct. 1, the deadline by which most stores were supposed to start accepting chip cards or face some fraud liabilities, according to Crone Consulting LLC, which specializes in retail payments.