MasterCard: Walmart Should Not Have Demanded ID For Purchase

A couple weeks back, we brought you the story of Michael, a Walmart customer who was told it was company policy to require a photo ID on all credit card purchases over $100, even though that appears to be in violation of MasterCard’s merchant agreement. After trying to get someone at MasterCard to clarify/confirm their stance on ID-checking, Michael finally got the reply he was looking for.

I emailed several executives, including General Counsel at WalMart, MasterCard and Citicards (as that is who my MasterCard is through). It took some time to get a response. At one point, I noticed on my linkedin page that General Counsel of Walmart had recently viewed my profile. I immediately shot off another email saying while I appreciate that GC of Walmart took the time to check my LinkedIn profile, I would much more appreciate an immediate response to my inquiry.

GC of Walmart called my home (but I was at work) and said that they were investigating and would get back to me. I called both MasterCard and Citicards, but not surprisingly, the customer reps were clueless. I received the attached MasterCard response [see below], which I appreciated since it confirms my belief that Walmart was in error.

I spoke with GC of Walmart on Monday, and he too confirmed the error and said that the GM of the store was contacted and told to cease this behavior and retrain all cashiers. My wife was in the store Tuesday and purchased over $100 of stuff again but her ID was not requested.

Good thing he didn’t try to use his Discover card, because the credit card company recently told Consumerist that “It’s at the merchant’s discretion to request ID.”