Visa, Mastercard Planning Changes To Allow For Larger Gasoline Charges

Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. are planning numerous changes to allow larger card transactions to help drivers cover their expenses at the pump.

To minimize the damage of already excessively high swipe fees, many gas stations have a $125 limit for Visa transactions at the pump because the card company adds even more fees to the retailer when charges exceed that amount.

With current fuel prices, people who drive vehicles with large tanks must pay using two transactions.

In May, Visa will quadruple the maximum transaction amount that carries better interchange rates for purchases made with small-business and commercial cards.

Visa will also raise the fraud-liability threshold to $175. The changes should mean gas stations can raise limits and fewer consumers will face pump shutoffs.

Mastercard will increase the amounts it pre-authorizes at gas stations to $175 from $125 for consumer cards and to $500 from $350 for commercial cards.

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