The Korea Herald


BC, banks team up to fight Visa


Published : Aug. 16, 2011 - 19:23

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BC Card Co. and its 11 partner banks have agreed to join hands in protest against the “anti-market policy” of Visa, the Korean company said Tuesday.

A consultative body, headed by a BC executive, expressed deep regret in a statement that Visa has fined BC unilaterally for refusing to use its global fee payment system.

“The measure was an anti-market policy aimed at blocking consumers from using services at lower fees while strengthening its market dominance,” the statement said.

“Until any progress is made, BC Card and its 11 partner banks will take every possible action.”

The group consists of representatives of BC’s partner banks such as Woori Bank and NH Bank.

BC Card had planned to send its executive to Visa to deliver the statement, but the plan was thwarted in the face of objection from Visa.

Visa, the global credit card giant, has mandated its partner card companies to use VisaNet, its global fee payment system, charging a fee equal to 1 percent of the transaction amount spent outside of Korea.

However, BC has refused to follow the clause since October 2009 by forming a separate partnership with the U.S.-based Star Network, through which the fee is about 77 percent cheaper.

After the two companies failed to reach an agreement in talks for years, Visa started imposing fines on BC from June. Visa has withdrawn a total of $400,000 from their joint bank account as penalty.

In July, BC fought back against Visa by filing a report with the Fair Trade Commission over unfair business activities here. The investigation is still underway.

By Lee Ji-yoon (