Finextra News: Visa tweaks debit routing policies

23rd November 2016
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Visa (NYSE:V) today modified and clarified existing debit network routing rules to help merchants and acquirers better understand implementation options related to the adoption of EMV chip technology in the U.S.

The modifications and clarifications follow new guidance recently issued from the Federal Reserve and address a Federal Trade Commission inquiry.

With Visa chip cards, debit routing and processing are enabled by two payment application identifiers (AIDs) on the chip – the U.S. Common Debit AID or the Visa Debit AID. The Common Debit AID can support any of the more than one dozen domestic debit networks that issuers can choose to offer in addition to Visa Debit. This provides merchants with the ability to select the network over which a debit transaction is processed or routed.

Visa is providing additional clarification that merchants can use the Common Debit AID exclusively to route U.S. debit transactions if they choose. Merchants are also not required to ask the cardholder to choose the AID or network for processing debit transactions. Merchants can continue to automatically ask, or prompt, a Visa cardholder to enter a PIN on in-person transactions, provided the cardholder can still use their card without a PIN if they prefer.