Pat Wesner, an executive vice president at U.S. Bank, the nation's fifth-largest Visa debit issuer, said the reason for the move is twofold. The shift in the "underlying revenue opportunity" to the bank as a result of the recent settlement between credit-card companies and merchants is partly driving this, she said. Increased costs related to "tracking and monitoring" customers who switch among the bank's four debit-rewards programs are also a factor, she said.
"Customer convenience and shareholder value were the main criteria in making our network decisions," McGee said. "We believe the choice of Visa, Interlink and NYCE will help Wachovia develop an integrated strategy for ATM and debit transactions that, over time, will result in a win-win-win for customers, merchants and our company."