V - Visa Inc.

NYSE - NYSE Delayed price. Currency in USD
205.00
-1.52 (-0.74%)
At close: 4:00PM EST
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous close206.52
Open207.42
Bid204.51 x 800
Ask205.01 x 800
Day's range204.21 - 207.99
52-week range133.30 - 210.13
Volume7,518,975
Avg. volume7,612,138
Market cap455.584B
Beta (5Y monthly)N/A
PE ratio (TTM)38.56
EPS (TTM)N/A
Earnings date29 Jan 2020
Forward dividend & yieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-dividend dateN/A
1y target est218.17
  • Visa (V) Earnings Expected to Grow: What to Know Ahead of Next Week's Release
    Zacks

    Visa (V) Earnings Expected to Grow: What to Know Ahead of Next Week's Release

    Visa (V) doesn't possess the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely earnings beat in its upcoming report. Get prepared with the key expectations.

  • Visa (V) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    Visa (V) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

    In the latest trading session, Visa (V) closed at $207.90, marking a +0.29% move from the previous day.

  • Vodafone Abandons Facebook-Led Libra Cryptocurrency Project
    Bloomberg

    Vodafone Abandons Facebook-Led Libra Cryptocurrency Project

    (Bloomberg) -- Telecom giant Vodafone Group Plc left the Libra Association, becoming the latest company to exit the Facebook-led group trying to create a new global cryptocurrency.The Libra Association, which was finalized last October, once expected to have as many as 28 total members when the project was announced in June. It is now down to 20 following earlier departures from Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and others that had committed to the project but then left before the group signed an official charter.“Vodafone is no longer a member of the Libra Association,” Dante Disparte, head of policy and communication for the association, said in a statement. “Although the makeup of the Association members may change over time, the design of Libra’s governance and technology ensures the Libra payment system will remain resilient. The Association is continuing the work to achieve a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of the Libra payment system.”The idea for Libra -- a global, digital currency intended to make cross-border money transfers as easy as sending a text message -- has faced opposition at every turn. Facebook, the world’s largest social network, first proposed the idea last June, along with a number of high-profile partners. Many of them are no longer involved, and Facebook has pledged to appease all U.S. regulators before launching the currency. It’s unclear how long that might take.Coindesk earlier reported news of Vodafone’s departure from the group.In a statement, U.K.-based Vodafone said it plans to focus on its own digital payments efforts instead. Vodafone partly owns Safaricom Plc, which operates the M-Pesa mobile-payments app in Kenya, where more people keep their money on their phones rather than in banks. The text message-based app is used by about 35 million people globally to spend, borrow and send money to friends and family.“We will continue to monitor the development of the Libra Association and do not rule out the possibility of future co-operation,” Vodafone spokesman Steve Shepperson-Smith said.\--With assistance from Jenny Surane and Scott Moritz.To contact the reporter on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at kwagner71@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Robin AjelloFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Jack Ma’s Booming Loan Business Threatens Visa, AmEx in China
    Bloomberg

    Jack Ma’s Booming Loan Business Threatens Visa, AmEx in China

    (Bloomberg) -- As Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and American Express Co. prepare to enter China for the first time, one of their biggest competitive threats will come from a company that doesn’t issue credit cards.Jack Ma’s Ant Financial, already the biggest player in China’s $27 trillion payments market, is leveraging its ubiquitous Alipay mobile app to mount a rapid expansion into consumer lending.Instead of issuing cards, Ant allows customers to borrow with a few taps on their smartphones. The loans are wildly popular among China’s army of mobile-savvy shoppers, who often lack formal credit histories but generate enough financial data via Alipay for Ant to make informed decisions on whether they’ll default. The company’s outstanding consumer loans may swell to nearly 2 trillion yuan ($290 billion) by 2021, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts, more than triple the level two years ago.“The consumer loans business has been growing at breakneck speed, but there are so many untapped users,” Huang Hao, president of Ant’s digital finance operations, said in a phone interview outlining the company’s strategy.Ant’s push into China’s 10 trillion yuan market for short-term consumer loans will make it an even more formidable challenger to U.S. card companies, which are counting on the world’s second-largest economy as a source of long-term growth.Many Chinese consumers and businesses are ditching credit cards as Ant and its main competitor Tencent Holdings Ltd. make app-based spending, borrowing and investing increasingly user-friendly. In a Nielsen survey of more than 3,000 Chinese people born after 1990, nearly 61% said they use online consumer credit while only 45.5% had a credit card.“For credit card companies coming to China, the biggest challenge is how to attract people,” said Zennon Kapron, managing director of Singapore-based consulting firm Kapronasia. “A lot of Chinese millennials are digital first, used to using Alipay as their first platform for payments, loans and wealth management.”The card giants appear to be moving forward with their China plans despite the headwinds. AmEx’s application to start a bank card clearing business has been accepted by the country’s central bank, while Mastercard has called China a “vital” market and Visa has said it’s working closely with regulators for a license.As part of its phase-one trade agreement with the U.S., China said it won’t take longer than 90 days to consider applications from providers of electronic-payments services. Regulators are opening the industry to foreign competition amid an unprecedented push to give international firms access to the country’s financial sector.Read more: Visa, Mastercard, AmEx Win Easier Access to China MarketIn response to questions from Bloomberg on the threat posed by Ant, Visa said it sees significant potential to support the growth and evolution of digital payments in China and is approaching the market with a long-term focus. Mastercard said it would continue to work with regulators to advance its application and is committed for the long haul. AmEx declined to comment.Ant, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. that’s widely expected to pursue an initial public offering in coming years, started its consumer-credit business in 2015. Its loans tend to be small: half the users of Ant’s Huabei (translation: “just spend”) service borrow less than $290 and usually pay it back within months.The Hangzhou-based company, which declined to disclose the value of its outstanding loans, keeps delinquencies in check by tapping into a trove of data amassed by Alipay and Alibaba.Many customers have been using the payments and e-commerce platforms for years -- handing over details from ID cards to addresses and spending habits. Once Ant extends a loan, it can track how the money is spent via Alipay. The result is a bad-debt ratio stands at about 1%, below the 1.24% national average for credit cards.Read more: China’s Gen Z, With Little Income, Gets Hooked on Easy CreditAnt keeps some of the loans on its own balance sheet, charging interest rates that range from about 5% to 18%, according to Huang. But most are passed on for a fee to banks and other financial institutions.“We’re set to continue to work with more banks and finance companies,” Huang said. “We are, at the end of the day, a platform.”The risk for Visa, Mastercard and AmEx is that a swathe of Chinese consumers and businesses will view credit cards as obsolete. About 60% of borrowers on Ant’s Huabei platform don’t have one, and many smaller merchants don’t accept cards because they find it’s cheaper and easier to use Alipay or Tencent’s WePay. The former, with more than 900 million users, is Alibaba’s preferred payments provider.“The competitive landscape is full of local players,” said Hang Qian, a partner at Oliver Wyman, a consultancy. “The key challenges are how to promote small merchants to accept credit cards and how to get e-wallet users to switch.”\--With assistance from Alfred Liu.To contact the reporter on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at ychen447@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Patterson at mpatterson10@bloomberg.net, Jodi SchneiderFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 4 Sector ETFs Sizzling With Solid Buybacks
    Zacks

    4 Sector ETFs Sizzling With Solid Buybacks

    Inside the sectors that have seen strong share buybacks in the past 10 years.

  • Stock Market News for Jan 16, 2020
    Zacks

    Stock Market News for Jan 16, 2020

    Wall Street closed higher on Wednesday following the signing of phase-one trade deal between the United States and China.

  • Visa's Plaid Takeover Signals Wave of Fintech Dealmaking
    Bloomberg

    Visa's Plaid Takeover Signals Wave of Fintech Dealmaking

    (Bloomberg) -- After last year’s deluge of financial technology megadeals, investors wondered if the boom could continue into 2020. This week, Visa Inc.’s $5.3 billion acquisition of Plaid Inc. offered an answer: Yes.  “Visa buying Plaid brings fintech from out in the wild to something more mainstream,” said Bain Capital Ventures’ Matt Harris. “It’s a ‘growing up’ moment for all of us,” he said, adding that the startup will now be part of the “critical infrastructure underlying the financial services industry.”Plaid’s rapid ascent—Square Inc. looked at buying it in 2018 for just a fifth of the eventual selling price—comes as large companies look to expand their offerings, and contend with fast-growing digital competition. In November, PayPal Holdings Inc. snapped up online coupon company Honey Science Corp. for $4 billion. Charles Schwab Corp. acquired TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. for $26 billion. And Fiserv Inc., Fidelity National Information Services Inc. and Global Payments Inc. did a series of major deals in 2019 that remade the corporate landscape of payment processing.Today there are nearly 60 financial technology startups valued at more than $1 billion, according to data from CB Insights, a research firm. Many are now acquisition targets, analysts say. Those include smaller players like SoftBank Group Corp.-backed unicorn Kabbage Inc., as well as giants like Stripe Inc., most recently valued at $35 billion, a price tag that makes it one of the world’s largest startups. Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst Harshita Rawat, said in a note that Fiserv and PayPal could be potential bidders for Stripe.Ryan Caldwell, chief executive officer of financial data company MX Technologies Inc., suggested the Visa deal could trigger a domino effect in the industry. “The space tends to heat up when there's been one acquisition,” Caldwell said, adding that larger companies were increasingly aware of fintech’s potential. “A lot of these players definitely need to partner,” he said.Satya Patel, a partner at venture capital firm Homebrew, which was a Plaid investor, said he didn’t expect a bonanza for VCs. “As an active fintech investor, I’d like to think that its acquisition is a sign of things to come,” but added that for every Plaid there will be many more startups that are bought for much less, or go out of business. While companies like Plaid and Stripe deal with the plumbing of fintech, would-be acquirers may also seek out consumer-facing financial startups. In the consumer world, “a re-bundling of financial products is underway,” Patel said. Analysts have speculated that future potential acquisitions could involve some of the new payment plan and lending services, such as Affirm Inc., Afterpay and Klarna Bank AB.“The alternative lending space feels ripe for consolidation,” said Lisa Ellis, an analyst at MoffettNathanson. These firms would make sense for “possibly PayPal or Square, since they have alternative lending businesses already and these would extend those, even banks like a Discover,’’ she said.The rising crop of digital-first alternative banks, or “neo-banks,” saw big investment last year, and may also see an uptick in deals. Digital banking startups like Chime Inc., Revolut Ltd., N26 and Dave Inc. fall into this category. Because many of them have similar business models, experts believe the industry could be ripe for buyouts.“The neo-bank space will probably consolidate at some point,’’ Ellis said. “Many firms are burning cash just trying to buy and acquire customers.” But that might not happen right away. Said Ellis: “The valuation bubble has to pop a bit for that group to be acquired.”(Adds investor quote in sixth paragraph. )\--With assistance from Jennifer Surane.To contact the author of this story: Julie Verhage in New York at jverhage2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Anne VanderMey at avandermey@bloomberg.net, Mark MilianFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Dow Hits 29,000 for the Second Time: 5 Stocks Driving the ETF
    Zacks

    Dow Hits 29,000 for the Second Time: 5 Stocks Driving the ETF

    Extending its last year's rally, Dow Jones touched 29,000 for the second time in three days, suggesting strong complacency in the market.

  • Should You Be Tempted To Sell Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) Because Of Its P/E Ratio?
    Simply Wall St.

    Should You Be Tempted To Sell Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) Because Of Its P/E Ratio?

    The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll apply a basic P/E...

  • Business Wire

    Visa Inc. to Announce Fiscal First Quarter 2020 Financial Results on January 30, 2020

    Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) will report its fiscal first quarter 2020 financial results on Thursday, January 30, 2020. The results, along with accompanying financial information, will be released after market close and posted on the Visa Investor Relations website.

  • Business Wire

    Visa Reaches 100 Percent Renewable Electricity Goal

    Visa has reached its goal to use 100 percent renewable electricity by 2020 through energy sources like solar and wind.

  • Play These ETFs on Visa-Plaid Deal
    Zacks

    Play These ETFs on Visa-Plaid Deal

    Visa (V) is acquiring fintech company Plaid, putting the spotlight on these ETFs.

  • Business Wire

    Participation in Visa Token Service Hits Major Milestone as Digital Commerce Expands

    Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) today announced that participants in Visa Token Service (VTS) are estimated to process a combined ecommerce volume of $1 trillion*, marking a significant opportunity in its efforts to make digital payments more secure. Tokenization is a technology that replaces sensitive payment information with a unique identifier, or "token", protecting the underlying sensitive payment information.

  • Visa to Acquire Plaid, Fortify Place in Fintech Industry
    Zacks

    Visa to Acquire Plaid, Fortify Place in Fintech Industry

    Visa's (V) acquisition of Plaid will provide leverage to its fintech efforts already underway.

  • Financial Times

    FirstFT: Today’s top stories 

    Tehran announced this month that it would no longer abide by any of its commitments on uranium enrichment days after a US drone strike killed Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s most powerful military commander. The plane was carrying 57 Canadian citizens.

  • Visa to Buy Plaid for $5.3 Billion in Bid to Reach Startups
    Bloomberg

    Visa to Buy Plaid for $5.3 Billion in Bid to Reach Startups

    (Bloomberg) -- Visa Inc. grew into one of the world’s most valuable financial companies by serving as the pipes that help connect banks and merchants.Now, it’s making a major bet on doing the same for data between banks and financial startups.Visa agreed to pay $5.3 billion for Plaid, a fintech firm that connects popular apps like Venmo to customers’ data in the established banking system. The deal caps a meteoric rise for Plaid and aims to keep fueling Visa’s own ascent, which has seen its stock triple in the past five years. The sale price is double Plaid’s $2.65 billion valuation in a 2018 funding round.Plaid’s developer tools help power a range of popular financial apps -- such as Venmo, Coinbase Inc. and Acorns Grow Inc. -- by channeling the banking data they need for their apps and websites. Founded in 2012, the firm now has more than 200 million accounts linked on its platform, according to an investor presentation. That access underscores the demand from consumers to send their data to services that can move funds between accounts or into cryptocurrencies, give advice on personal finances or reimburse a friend after brunch.About a quarter of people with a U.S. bank account have used Plaid to connect to the roughly 11,000 financial institutions it works with, the companies said. At times, that’s put Plaid at the center of tensions between fintech disruptors and banks, which have expressed concerns about security and sometimes locked the outside parties out.Data Access“We don’t see changing Plaid’s model, we see helping them accelerate their growth,” Visa Chief Executive Officer Al Kelly said on a conference call about the way Plaid earns its fees.But the way data is shared probably will change, Visa President Ryan McInerney said in an interview. Visa will work with banking partners including JPMorgan Chase & Co. to ensure fintechs are collecting consumers’ data “appropriately,” he said. “We have deep relationships with most financial institutions and we intend to evolve” Plaid’s data practices, he said. As a benefit, fintechs may get more reliable connectivity.Plaid has attracted investments from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and venture capitalist Mary Meeker. Visa and Mastercard Inc. also are investors in the company, Plaid said last year in a blog post. Visa said it expects the takeover to close in the next three to six months with the acquisition adding 80 to 100 basis points to revenue growth in fiscal 2021.Longer-term, the deal will let Visa play a greater role in the financial industry’s tech-driven evolution, Kelly told analysts on a call. “We see this giving us options and growth potentials at least for the next decade,” he said.In 2018, Plaid had talks with Jack Dorsey’s Square Inc. about an acquisition that would have valued Plaid at about $1 billion. In early 2019, the firm announced that it was buying one of its competitors, Quovo, in a deal valued at about $200 million.Both Visa and Mastercard have been seeking to move beyond card payments in recent years to extend their rapid revenue growth. Mastercard bought a payments platform owned by Nets for $3.2 billion last year, using its biggest-ever acquisition to move further into so-called account-to-account payments.Plaid has struck data-sharing agreements with major banks including JPMorgan and Wells Fargo & Co. over the past few years, seeking to head off battles over whether consumers should give up their bank username and password to share data with financial applications.Visa’s move follows a year of frenzied consolidation in the fintech industry, as old-guard companies increasingly seek to compete with fast-growing startups. In November, PayPal Holdings Inc. snapped up online coupon company Honey Science Corp. for $4 billion. Also last year, Charles Schwab acquired of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. for $26 billion, and Fiserv Inc., Fidelity National Information Services Inc. and Global Payments Inc. did a series of major deals in payment processing.Plaid’s takeover by Visa -- seen by some fintech disruptors as part of the more traditional banking industry -- will be watched closely by Silicon Valley for any signs that more consolidation is coming. Monday’s announcement included comments from JPMorgan and PayPal welcoming the merger.(Updates with comments from Visa’s president on data policies in the seventh paragraph)\--With assistance from Anne VanderMey.To contact the reporters on this story: Julie Verhage in New York at jverhage2@bloomberg.net;Jenny Surane in New York at jsurane4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net, ;Molly Schuetz at mschuetz9@bloomberg.net, David Scheer, Dan ReichlFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business Wire

    Visa To Acquire Plaid

    Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Plaid, a network that makes it easy for people to securely connect their financial accounts to the apps they use to manage their financial lives. Visa will pay total purchase consideration of $5.3 billion to acquire Plaid.

  • These 4 Finance Stocks Helped Dow Win Big in 2019
    Zacks

    These 4 Finance Stocks Helped Dow Win Big in 2019

    Dow finance stocks - JPM, GS, V, AXP - are expected to continue witnessing bullish investor sentiments as several favorable factors bode well for earnings growth this year.

  • Tencent Teams With State-Backed UnionPay on Mobile Payments
    Bloomberg

    Tencent Teams With State-Backed UnionPay on Mobile Payments

    (Bloomberg) -- Tencent Holdings Ltd. and China UnionPay Co. will soon unify the mobile codes that consumers scan to pay for purchases, granting the Chinese central bank-backed network a bigger foothold in a $27 trillion payments arena.Tencent and UnionPay have agreed to integrate their QR code systems, allowing their respective customers to transfer or spend money using the same smartphone symbols, state media including Caixin reported on Wednesday, citing unidentified sources. A Tencent representative said the company is collaborating with UnionPay in a number of fields on a trial basis. A UnionPay representative declined to comment.The tie-up may help UnionPay, a network set up by top lenders from Bank of China to Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, carve out a bigger slice of a market long dominated by Tencent and Alipay, the digital wallet owned and operated by Jack Ma’s Ant Financial. Under the agreement, customers using UnionPay’s Quickpass or WeChat Pay -- the de facto payment service on Tencent’s ubiquitous messaging platform of the same name -- will scan the same QR code from merchants, Caixin reported.Alipay, which is part-owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., isn’t in similar integration talks, Caixin added. Once China’s dominant online payments provider thanks to its prominence on Alibaba’s online malls, Alipay has in recent years come under attack from Tencent’s rival offering, which is available to a billion-plus WeChat users.China’s central bank has pushed for system integration in mobile payments, both domestically and overseas. The EMVCo consortium, which includes UnionPay, Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. as its members, created a QR Payment Mark to promote global payments unification in 2018.Read more: Alipay, Tencent Beware: China’s Digital Yuan Is Closing In(Updates with Tencent’s and UnionPay’s comments in the second paragraph)\--With assistance from Zheping Huang and Jun Luo.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Evelyn Yu in Shanghai at yyu263@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Candice Zachariahs at czachariahs2@bloomberg.net, Edwin Chan, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • AmEx Opens Two Lounges to Offer Premium Amenities to Members
    Zacks

    AmEx Opens Two Lounges to Offer Premium Amenities to Members

    American Express (AXP) opens two lounges to provide premium services to its Platinum Card and Centurion members.

  • U.S. Gas Stations Rush to Adopt Chip Cards After Failed Bid to Delay Deadline
    Bloomberg

    U.S. Gas Stations Rush to Adopt Chip Cards After Failed Bid to Delay Deadline

    (Bloomberg) -- Gas stations around the U.S. are rushing to upgrade fuel pumps to accept credit and debit cards with chips after Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. rejected a request to delay a looming deadline to complete the work.Beginning in October, station operators that haven’t modernized their pumps will face liability for any card fraud that happens at their businesses. The industry is “massively under-prepared,” said Joshua Smith, chief executive officer of Gas Pos, which sells point-of-sale systems.“There’s not enough technicians to do the installments,” Smith said. “There’s not enough inventory. Even if there were enough contractors, there’s not enough dispensers available.”Most retailers began to upgrade payment systems in 2015 -- the first of a series of deadlines set by Visa and Mastercard as the U.S. worked to catch up with nations in Europe and Asia that had long adopted the more-secure chip cards. For fuel retailers, the deadline was ultimately pushed back five years as the industry faced costs of more than $3.9 billion to do the work.In a 2019 survey by Conexxus, a non-profit that represents convenience stores, almost 70% of respondents who own a convenience store said they haven’t upgraded any outside pumps to the new so-called EMV technology.Few companies manufacture the required pumps. Those that do -- such as Dover Corp. or Fortive Corp.’s Gilbarco Veeder-Root -- have said they’re expecting an increase in sales ahead of the deadline. Once the hardware is installed, fuel companies must have the pump software certified.Fuel retailers that don’t upgrade could face costs of as much as $201,000 per store over the next seven years, according to data compiled by Conexxus. The group expects the fuel industry to suffer $451 million of card fraud in 2020 alone.“There’s going to be quite a surprise come October,” Laura Townsend, senior vice president of the Merchant Advisory Group, said in an interview. “Folks that have been trying to transition to EMV will be unable to because of things outside their control. But they will bear a significant increase in losses either come October or shortly thereafter because we know fraudsters will find the weakest link.”In the Conexxus survey, more than half of participants cited a lack of available software for not having chip technology fully deployed, while about 15% pointed to a shortage of hardware. The convenience-store industry blames Visa and Mastercard for not consulting them when setting deadlines.“The payment standard-setting process needs to be more open,” said Anna Ready Blom, director of government relations for NACS, a trade association for the convenience-store industry. “Retailers and technology companies should have been part of the planning and decision-making on chip cards from the start. If they had been, rather than Visa and Mastercard making all the decisions without understanding them fully, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”Visa has previously highlighted its discussions with merchants when it announced its decision to extend the deadline for gas station operators in 2016.Visa and Mastercard aren’t willing to give gas stations more time. The networks recently rejected a plea for a delay from the Merchant Advisory Group, which helps retailers navigate payment-systems issues.“We believe extending chip technology to fuel pumps is an important step to take to protect businesses and consumers who want to pay securely as well as conveniently,” Visa said in a statement. Mastercard said it’s seeing good adoption of EMV technology and a reduction in fraud.Visa and Mastercard began calling for a migration to chips years ago to head off counterfeit-card fraud. The underlying technology -- called EMV for founders Europay, Mastercard and Visa -- generates new codes for each transaction, while the information on magnetic stripes is permanent and can be copied and stored by hackers.More than 3.7 million merchants -- or 80% of U.S. storefronts -- currently accept chip cards. Since 2015, the amount of money merchants lost to counterfeit fraud has declined by 62%, according to Visa.As gas stations start to make the switch, they’re also facing an increased threat from hackers looking to take advantage of one of the last industries that remains vulnerable to counterfeit-card fraud.“As long as the magnetic stripe readers are in place, fuel dispenser merchants are becoming an increasingly attractive target for advanced threat actors,” Visa said in a security alert issued in November. It recommended these merchants deploy chip acceptance along with other security measures such as encryption and educating employees about phishing attacks.(Updates with Visa’s comments in 11th paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Jenny Surane in New York at jsurane4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net, Dan Reichl, Steve DicksonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    This Is No Time to Snub Iran’s Foreign Minister

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Last summer, when the Trump administration threatened sanctions on Javad Zarif, I argued that this placed too much importance on the Iranian foreign minister. He is, after all, a mere cipher in the Islamic Republic, a glorified spokesman for a regime where real authority is wielded by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the leadership of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.Now that there’s a small chance of Zarif gaining an ounce of political weight in Tehran, it is doubly foolish of the U.S. to deny him a visa to attend a meeting Thursday of the United Nations Security Council. And that’s quite apart from the fact that such a ban runs contrary to the UN headquarters agreement of 1947, which requires the U.S. to allow foreign diplomats to visit the multilateral body.A little background: Although Zarif has been the titular head of the foreign ministry since 2013, he has had little real power in setting policy. He was appointed to the post for the same reason Khamenei allowed Hassan Rouhani to win the presidential election that year: as window-dressing for a regime seeking to make a deal with the West.Like Rouhani, Zarif had been Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator and had a reputation for charming Western interlocutors, in stark contrast to the dour, sour officials who characterized the administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Zarif had also been the Islamic Republic’s ambassador to the UN, where he was said to have developed useful friendships with influential Americans and an acute understanding of U.S. politics.These qualifications made Rouhani and Zarif the perfect instruments for Khamenei’s top priority: to free Iran from the noose of international economic sanctions over its nuclear program. The two delivered on this with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.From that moment, Zarif’s utility to the supreme leader began to depreciate. Khamenei’s other foreign-policy priorities involved the expansion of Iran’s influence in its neighborhood, by destabilizing governments and promoting mayhem through terrorist groups and proxy militias. Zarif’s charm and credentials as a nuclear negotiator were of no value in this theater; this was a job for Khamenei’s main man in the Middle East, Qassem Soleimani.Since May 2018, when President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the JCPOA and reinstated economic sanctions on Iran, Zarif’s role has been, in the main, to try to persuade the agreement’s European signatories to keep their end of the bargain. He was never going to succeed: Europeans fear Trump’s sanctions more than they covet business opportunities in Iran. The low point of Zarif’s career came early last year, during a visit to Tehran by the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. The foreign minister was not even invited to a meeting with Khamenei’s favorite tyrant. Needless to say, Soleimani was. Zarif pouted and issued a faux resignation — on Instagram, of all places — but allowed himself to be persuaded to stay. His growing frustration manifested in his progressively more tetchy tweets. He has dropped his diplomatic pose in favor of snark, labeling the Trump administration as “the B-team” and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “an arrogant clown.”This playing to Khamenei’s prejudices — and to the peanut gallery in Tehran — helped preserve Zarif’s job, despite strong criticism from elements of the regime who regard him as a failure.   Now, finally, things may be breaking his way. Soleimani’s death removes the main power player in foreign policy; his replacement as boss of the Quds Force, Esmail Ghaani, is at best an unknown quantity in that arena. Besides, Ghaani will have his hands full with the task of avenging the death of Khamenei’s favorite: If Iran does indeed have 13 retaliation scenarios, it’s a good bet that the majority of them will involve the Quds Force and the proxy groups that now fall under Ghaani’s authority. This might give Zarif some room to maneuver in foreign policy. And that room could expand if Khamenei decides to take the rational course and seek a detente with Iran’s neighbors and with the U.S. It would require Zarif to walk back some of his spiteful remarks and reprise his role as the regime’s charmer-in-chief, but this shouldn’t be difficult for a practiced chameleon.That’s why it makes no sense for the Trump administration to bar him from the U.S. or the UN. Yes, there is an industrial quantity of hypocrisy in the idea of having the mouthpiece of a genocidal regime address the Security Council on the topic of upholding the UN Charter — which enjoins members, among other things, “to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors.” But hypocrisy is the UN’s stock-in-trade: just run your eyes down the list of members of the Human Rights Council.For the first time in years, Javad Zarif might actually matter: The Trump administration could not have picked a worse moment to make him a persona non grata.To contact the author of this story: Bobby Ghosh at aghosh73@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stacey Shick at sshick@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Bobby Ghosh is a columnist and member of the Bloomberg Opinion editorial board. He writes on foreign affairs, with a special focus on the Middle East and the wider Islamic world.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2020 Bloomberg L.P.