Visa to categorize gun sales separately after new code approved

Visa Inc. will start separately categorizing gun sales following efforts by pension funds and other organizations to improve tracking of firearm purchases.

The move by the largest U.S. credit-card company comes a day after the International Organization for Standardization approved a new merchant category code for gun and ammunition stores to use when processing transactions.

“Following ISO’s decision to establish a new merchant category code, Visa will proceed with next steps, while ensuring we protect all legal commerce on the Visa network in accordance with our long-standing rules,” the company said in an emailed statement Saturday.

A merchant category code is a four-digit number used by credit-card companies to classify businesses. It typically indicates the types of services or goods being sold to consumers.

Amalgamated Bank, New York city and state officials, and the California’s teachers’ pension fund have waged a campaign to introduce the new code. New York City Comptroller Brad Lander said the move would help financial institutions flag suspicious activity at these merchants and help save lives.


 

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