Visa to Change Credit, Debit Card Operations in US

By Jose Resurreccion

May 16, 2024 01:27 AM EDT

Visa to Change Credit, Debit Card Operations in US
This photo illustration shows Visa cards on January 24, 2023, in Centreville, Maryland, ahead of their earnings report.
(Photo : JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Visa announced Wednesday (May 15) that it will make major changes to the operation of its credit and debit cards in the United States. 

The Associated Press reported that the changes would mean that American Visa cardholders would carry fewer physical cards and, according to Visa's global head of consumer Mark Nelsen, make the 16-digit card number printed on every card obsolete and irrelevant. 

The changes reflected a shift in how Americans expanded their payment options and are no longer relying too much on credit and debit cards. These options include "buy now, pay later" schemes, peer-to-peer payments, direct bank transactions, and digital payment systems like Apple Pay. 

It also reflected the company's response to online payment fraud, which has increased as the world slowly adopts digital payments.

Visa has already been implementing the feature in Asia. 

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This meant that beginning this summer, American banks using Visa would be able to issue a single physical payment card that could be connected to multiple bank accounts, and cardholders would be able to set criteria with their bank. 

Affirm was reported to be the very first US Visa customer to use the feature in the country.

On the other hand, Mastercard has implemented the omission of the printed 16-digit account number with Apple Card, allowing users to request a new number at any time without disposing of their physical card.

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