As the debate in the United States rages on over gun laws, some companies have been taking sides by choosing to take action. Visa, however, is one company that has refused to wade into the political fray. Instead, it has opted to continue along doing business as it has been in regards to mobile payments.
An announcement from the company came in early August that it would not block mobile payments for gun purchases. Visa Chairman and CEO Alfred Kelly made the announcement after back-to-back mass shootings in Texas and Ohio thrust issues surrounding guns back into the news. It is not a change of course for the company; instead, it was merely a confirmation that things will not be changing in regards to gun purchases.
The company’s stance regarding mobile payments for gun purchases is a different one than some of its competition has taken. PayPal and Square have opted to not allow their services to be used for such purchases.
The rationale expressed by Visa CEO Alfred Kelly as to why the company will continue to support mobile gun purchases essentially comes down to it being simply a matter of not dictating morality to the company’s customers. It is legal for people to buy guns in the United States; therefore, the company will continue to process those purchases- just as it does other things that are legal but may be considered controversial by some.
That is not to say, however, that Alfred Kelly does not hold views regarding gun legislation in the United States. In an interview with CNBC, he expressed an interest in seeing lawmakers do more in regards to gun laws. However, no matter his personal views, he is not currently interested in applying them to the company that he heads up.
The company is not alone in this view, either, in regards to not dictating morality to its customers. Mastercard has also taken a similar stance. Its CEO Ajay Banga expressed similar sentiments as those of Alfred Kelly- refusing to determine what is right or wrong. As far as he is concerned, if it is legal to own an item his company will help customers purchase it.
Meanwhile, CEOs at other companies have taken a less neutral stance regarding guns. Apple CEO Tim Cook is one notable example of this. After the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, he took to Twitter demanding action.