By Alistair Barr
SAN FRANCISCO, March 21 Visa Inc has no
plans to implement a "digital wallet" fee at this point, Jim
McCarthy, global head of product at the payment network, said on
The comment came amid concern Visa might follow MasterCard
Inc's recent move to impose a new fee on operators of
digital wallets, such as PayPal, owned by eBay Inc.
During a Barclays investor conference on Wednesday Visa
Chief Executive Charlie Scharf said that the payment network's
relationship with digital wallet operators is changing as they
move more into physical stores.
A Visa spokesman said on Thursday that Scharf's comments
were about evolving relationships with payment industry
participants, rather than the potential for a specific new fee
from the company.
Digital wallets are electronic versions of real wallets that
store card and bank information and can be used to buy things
online quickly and anonymously. These digital wallets are
increasingly moving into the physical world, through consumers'
use of smartphones while shopping in retail stores.
As a payment option in physical stores, PayPal will be a
bigger threat to networks like MasterCard, Visa and American
Express, analysts say.
"PayPal has a great relationship with the card networks and
we are in fact one of their largest customers," a PayPal
spokesman said on Thursday. "We continue to work closely with
both Visa and MasterCard as the market evolves and technology
changes how consumers shop."
EBay shares rose 0.9 percent to $52.88 in afternoon trading
on Thursday, even as the Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.9
Still, PayPal could end up paying an extra fee to Visa, if
the payment network changes its mind later, according to Gil
Luria, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.
"If MasterCard is successful at implementing the fee, Visa
will join them," Luria said. "All they said today is that they
are not doing it yet."