The Visa Dance 

There’s a VISA card commercial on TV these days (which Elise hates), showing (symbolically) the well-choreographed, smoothly flowing gears of commerce. Consumers are happily using VISA cards, until someone has the audacity to use a check, and everything grinds to a halt.

Which is exactly what happened today when I had the audacity to use my VISA card. The merchant had to call in, and eventually I had to talk to the bank. It turned out that actually using the card means you can’t use it. I had bought some software the day before, for $39. The charge was recorded in London. Since I was buying something in Seattle the next day, this raised a huge red flag.

The problem with that is that I had purchased online! I don’t understand how VISA can be ignorant of the concept of online transactions, especially because when I set up a merchant account, we had to tell them that we were selling online (and had to pay a somewhat higher rate per transaction as a result). They should have been able to distinguish between a brick & mortar transaction in Seattle and an online transaction.

Anyway, thanks for the commercials VISA — but next time you might want to portray happy people using checks (which give you an automatic receipt and are much harder to use fraudulently) and a VISA card user being treated like a potential fraudster. Why again should I be using a VISA card? 

Posted: Sat - June 2, 2007 at 05:01 PM