Visa International has warned its member banks that their terminals in retail establishments must be Year 2000-compliant by April or they will face a fine of up to $100,000.
Company officials at Visa said its 20,000 member banks had been advised to consult with retailers to ensure their processes comply with the Millennium date change by January 1997. Of the 13 million Visa card accceptance locations worldwide, 10 per cent failed to meet the deadline, explained Jim Dickie, executive vice president of operations and services for the EU. Many of those are in the US and Asia Pacific, with 95 per cent of European terminals successfully meeting the deadline.
The new deadline and conditions have been imposed because payment cards will soon be issued with expiry dates that are either 2000 or beyond. Cards are usually valid for two or three years. ?We are picking up the pace to ensure that by mid-1997 100 per cent of Visa acquiring banks [those that have relationships with the retailer] can accept Year 2000 cards anywhere in the world,? explained Dickie.
The responsibilty for ensuring terminals are compliant will belong to the acquiring banks but this could be complex since some are owned by the banks and some by the retailers.
Banks will need to sign documents saying they can accept cards with 2000 expiry dates and Visa will occasionally check retail terminals for compliancy. If the terminals are not compliant then banks will be fined according to the size of transaction volumes.
Visa admitted some banks have been slow because of the need to meet other regulatory requirements in their respective countries and the move to smart card-based payment cards, which mean changes to card acceptance terminals.
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