Visa has lifted the ban that prohibits its retail partners from offering special deals to customers that paid with a specific bank's credit or debit card, according to the American Banker.
New Visa CEO Charles Scharf was behind the change and it applies to all Visa credit, debit and prepaid cards. Retailers can now give discounts at the register with store-branded cards.
Until now, retailers were able to offer reward points or other incentives, but not discounts tied to specific cards.
Merchants are still unable to reject cards or find ways around Visa's rule to honor all cards. A merchant that accepts Visa cards must accept all Visa cards, including debit and credit cards or Visa cards offered by all banks. MasterCard has the same rule.
Meanwhile, the recent court settlement that allows retailers to charge customers a "checkout fee" if you use your credit card went into effect in January, but most merchants have not added the fee. Many national retail chains and industry organizations are opting out of the settlement. The National Grocers Association is the latest to opt out of the multi-billion dollar antitrust settlement with Visa and MasterCard over merchant fees. The association will urge its 1,200 member companies to opt out and object.