Two factions that have taken on the card networks on separate fronts are combining their might in the latest effort to pressure Visa and Mastercard. Even so, there is not a lot of reason for the credit card brands to change their methods.
Visa's management faces an unwelcome choice: It can share more information about internal shortcomings or mistakes that caused payments to shut off temporarily, or get summoned to Parliament for a politically-infused public questioning.
Merchants, banks, fintechs and card networks may crave digital payments' treasure trove of data over cash's simple anonymity, but any weakness in a centralized ecosystem threatens the entire network, as Visa learned late last week.
Visa Canada plans to offer real-time B2B and B2C disbursements via its Visa Direct card-to-card transfer service, competing head-on with Canada's Interac network and a product Mastercard launched in the country earlier this year.