Two major credit card companies have made moves to make transactions easier for consumers while behind the scenes, one card company settled a major lawsuit and the other is working with regulators to improve compliance.
At Mastercard, the company said it has teamed with Target Corp., which will soon be accepting its “contactless cards” system that gives “shoppers the ability to simply tap to pay.”
“Cardholders using a contactless Mastercard — ones with a contactless symbol on them — will tap their card on the reader screen to pay and head on their way,” Mastercard said in a statement. The credit card company described the technology as “fuss free.” And Linda Kirkpatrick, executive vice president of U.S. merchants and acceptance for Mastercard, said “whether it be navigating the subway or conquering errands, contactless acceptance will take the consumer experience to the next level one tap at a time.”
Mastercard said it developed the technology “with the mind-set of never sacrificing security for convenience.” Both cards have a chip and RFID antenna that creates a wireless link with the reader. “When the card or device is tapped against the reader, information is transmitted in a highly secure manner within a fraction of a second,” Mastercard said adding that the demand for contactless features continues to grow. The company said 95 percent of all new checkout terminals “are contactless-ready.”
Separately, Mastercard was fined 570 million euros by the European Union this week, according to several media reports, for artificially inflating the costs of card payments in the EU. Mastercard said in its earnings report last month that it was anticipating the fine, and was cooperating with officials — for which it received a 10 percent reduction.
Also transcending legal woes was Synchrony, which said today that Walmart agreed to dismiss a pending lawsuit against it in regard to the sale of the Walmart loan portfolio that was being serviced by the credit card company. “The portfolio is expected to transfer late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter of 2019,” Synchrony said in a statement.
Details of the full transaction were not disclosed.
Separately, Synchrony said it has entered in an extension of its strategic partnership with Sam’s Club, which is a business segment of Walmart “to continue offering Club members enhanced financing options through the Sam’s Club-branded credit cards.”
The credit card company said it will continue to manage and service the credit programs at the 600 warehouse clubs. Members who use the card have access to cash back on gas, dining and travel. And there is no annual fee, and card is integrated in the retailer’s various channels — including its “scan and go” program.
Margaret Keane, president and chief executive officer of Synchrony, said the company was glad to reach its agreement with Walmart. “Obtaining certainty around the Walmart portfolio and renewal on Sam’s Club is a great outcome for the company. Sam’s Club is a valued and longstanding partner.”