Following previous statements from MasterCard, Visa is potentially planning to charge mobile payment operators extra fees for their transactions. Speaking at the Barclays Emerging Payments Forum, CEO of Visa Charlie Scharf stated that it would be "totally appropriate" to charge mobile payment processor additional fees for using its cards for payments. Payment systems like PayPal and Google Wallet are what's called a "staged wallet", which acts as an intermediary between credit cards and retailers that are accepting the payments. Because of this, when Visa and MasterCard cards are attached to the services they don't receive back as much information about the purchases being made.
Once relegated to just online purchases, the likes of PayPal and Google Wallet have started to put this payment system to work at physical retail locations as well. This not only directly cuts into the fee income of Visa and MasterCard, but cuts them twice when they also don't receive the valuable customer purchasing data. These additional fees, which MasterCard already plans to implement, will hopefully help in both arenas.
"Help" may not be the best descriptor though, because a new set of fees for staged wallet providers will only reduce the number of choices you have to pay with. Visa and MasterCard have a huge interest in cutting down any competing payment systems that sidestep their current ways of doing things. As many know, they have even gone so far as to launch their own mobile payment systems -- to little adoption.
We know that consumers want these types of single-wallet systems to simplify the way they pay for things every day, let's just hope that Visa and MasterCard don't have their way with this one.
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