NOVEMBER, 22, 2016 – ARLINGTON, VA – Food Marketing Institute (FMI) President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin issued the following statement on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) investigation into concerns that Visa’s confusing screens at checkout inhibited the routing choice and competition guaranteed by federal law. Sarasin said:


“In its role as the Voice of Food Retail and on behalf of the nation's food retailers, FMI is pleased to see Visa change its rules on the confusing EMV debit screens at checkout. While customers buying their turkeys this week will continue to see the confusing screens at many grocery stores when they use their debit cards, relief is coming. 


“FMI, on behalf of its members and their customers, has registered complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Reserve Board (regarding) arguing that Visa’s requirement that the customer choose between ‘Visa debit’ and ‘US debit’ is confusing and limits shoppers’ ability to get cash back or enter a Personal Identification Number. FMI also pointed out that in addition to being confusing to customers, the screens violate existing competition law and implementing regulations. Thanks to pressure from an FTC investigation and a push from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Visa has indicated it will revise its rules.


“While Visa’s actions to change its rules to comply with the law are a significant step in the right direction, it will take some time for grocers who have the confusing screens to replace them. Therefore, FMI requests that Visa prevent additional exposure to liability while merchants revise their systems to ensure customers have the safest, most secure and most efficient transactions.”