Visa USA talks up small payments scheme

Source: Visa USA

Visa USA today announced that leading U.S. merchants continue to adopt the Visa No Signature Required Program, which waives the signature requirement for qualifying Visa transactions less than $25 across 17 merchant categories.

7-Eleven, Inc., Clearview Cinemas, Dairy Queen, Domino's Pizza, and Sonic Drive-In are among the merchants now enabling their customers to make faster, more convenient payments by participating in Visa's program. Visa's No Signature Required Program, launched in April 2006, was designed to accelerate Visa acceptance and card usage at traditionally cash-heavy merchants.

"Visa continually works to drive acceptance across merchant segments that are most relevant to our cardholders. We're pleased to see the strong response to Visa's tailored solutions for the small ticket category, and how businesses are already enjoying faster throughput and higher ticket averages by replacing cash with Visa," said Niki Manby, senior vice president, product innovation, Visa USA.

"At Sonic, the Visa No Signature Required Program allows our customers to pay quickly for their meal while it is delivered by one of our smiling Carhops," said Renee Shaffer, chief information officer at Sonic Corp. "This feature has not only improved speed of service in our drive-ins, but is more convenient for our customers."

The growth of card usage for small ticket payments among consumers is attributed to a number of factors, including rising consumer usage of cards for everyday purchases and the popularity of the Visa check card over cash for small ticket purchases. Already during the first six months of this year, volume on purchases less than $25 in targeted small ticket segments has reached $27.3 billion. According to an April 2006 Visa survey, 45 percent of consumers stated that they use their payment cards for small ticket purchases more frequently than they did three years ago. The respondents cited convenience (73 percent), efficiency (44 percent) and speed (39 percent) as key factors behind their payment choices.

"Speed of service is what our customers want and what our 7-Eleven® stores deliver," said Robbie Radant, 7-Eleven's director of payment acceptance. "The Visa No Signature Required Program helps consumers make their small ticket purchases more quickly and be on their way."

Millions of Visa cardholders are increasingly turning to their payment cards for everyday purchases – from dry cleaning and car washes to fast food and fuel. In 2005, more than $49 billion in small ticket purchases less than $25 were made on Visa payment cards, with continued growth expected in 2006. Visa estimates indicate that by the end of 2006 as much as 27 percent of all Visa transactions may qualify for Visa's No Signature Required Program.

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