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Credit card acceptance in Europe not an issue

NEWS RELEASE

Credit card acceptance in Europe not an issue

Visa International refutes claim Kiwi credit cards could be rejected in the UK and France

Auckland, July 19 2006 – New Zealand Visa cardholders should not be turned away by European merchants because they do not have a ‘chip’ or ‘smart’ card, says the world’s leading payment card company.

Visa International has come out today in response to a statement issued overnight by United Future leader Peter Dunne who claimed New Zealand credit card users “may be in for a rude shock” if they try to use their cards in the UK or France now that smart cards have been introduced there.

Visa International’s New Zealand country manager Iain Jamieson says Visa merchants around the world must by law accept any form of Visa credit card, including our magnetic stripe cards, however there are steps cardholders can take if they are challenged.

“Visa is keen to put people’s minds at ease following the assertion that acceptance of Kiwi credit cards in the UK and France is a big problem,” says Mr Jamieson.

“While there may be some isolated cases of New Zealand credit cardholders experiencing problems overseas, people do have rights they can exercise. The cardholder should demand the merchant accepts the transaction, which they are legally required to do. If the merchant continues to refuse the card for payment the cardholder should tell the merchant they will be informing Visa International of the situation.”

As previously reported by Visa International, chip cards, which offer greater security than magnetic stripe cards, will be widely available in New Zealand by the end of 2007.

###

About Visa: Visa connects cardholders, merchants and financial institutions through the world's largest electronic payments network. Visa products allow buyers and sellers to conduct commerce with ease and confidence in both the physical and virtual worlds. As an association owned by more than 20,000 member financial institutions, Visa is committed to the sustained growth of electronic payment systems to support the needs of all stakeholders and to drive economic growth. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.

Visa New Zealand: Visa is the leading payment brand in New Zealand with 1.8 million cards on issue and more than 100,000 merchant acceptance locations. More than NZ$14 billion was spent at point of sale or withdrawn from ATMs in New Zealand using Visa cards in the year ended December 2005. For more information, visit www.visa.co.nz.

ENDS

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