Visa Raises No-Signature Limit to $50

SAN FRANCISCO — Visa here announced plans to raise its Visa Easy Payment Service "no signature required" limit from $25 to $50 for discount stores and grocery stores/supermarkets in the U.S., starting in October 2012.

Those outlets will be able to accept Visa cards for transactions up to $50 without requiring a cardholder signature or PIN, or providing a customer receipt unless requested by the cardholder.

This change is designed to increase speed at the point-of-sale, cardholder convenience and operational efficiencies for a large number of merchants, Visa said. The program has been available to the majority of merchant categories in the U.S. since July 2010, for purchases up to $25.

As the $50 limit is introduced, Visa will review merchant, cardholder and card issuer feedback and may expand this higher transaction limit to additional merchant categories in the near future. Approximately 80% of face-to-face Visa consumer transactions in the U.S. are under $50.

"Visa Easy Payment Service has been extremely popular with merchants and cardholders in busy retail environments. As a result, merchants have asked us to expand the program to purchases up to $50, so that they can more efficiently support consumers' growing preference to use cards instead of cash or checks for everyday purchases,” said William M. Sheedy, group president, Americas, Visa,  in a statement.

Visa also announced that, starting in April 2013, merchants will be protected from fraud chargebacks on transactions that have been electronically read (i.e., swiped or dipped in, or waved past, a card reader), helping to reduce merchant fraud management costs when appropriate acceptance procedures have been followed at the point of sale. In addition, Visa will eliminate the requirement for its card issuers to ask merchants for a copy of the receipt when a cardholder disputes a transaction.