pilot refuses visa and mastercard at pump

Pilot Travel Centers LLC is following Flying J’s lead by becoming the latest truck stop chain to stop accepting Visa and MasterCard at the pump.

Pilot made the change in order to halt “significant” quarterly losses due to chargebacks– a process by which credit card banks bill merchants after a cardholder claims either fraud or incorrect charges–Mitch Steenrod, senior vice president and chief financial officer for the Knoxville, Tenn.-based Pilot, told Land Line Magazine.

“If (fraud) is done at the pump terminal, I can’t prove it because I don’t have a signature, so there’s no way to stop it,” Steenrod told the magazine.Visa and MasterCard contracts and operating procedures make it particularly difficult on the retailer.

“(The media) would like to hammer on Pilot… for not taking these cards, but it isn’t us,” Steenrod said. “The credit card companies give you rules you’ve got to follow, operating rules, and they’ve got the latitude to financially force you to follow the operating rules. That’s why we have to do what we’re doing.”

Pilot officials are said to be planning an alternative solution for truckers to pay at the pump, which will be revealed in the next issue of “Challenge,” the company’s magazine.

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