Credit card company Visa to classify gun sales separately

Credit card company Visa Inc. will begin to separately classify gun sales following attempts by various organizations to get better tracking of firearms purchases.

The move by Visa — the largest credit card company in the United States — 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 that all lawful commerce on the Visa network is protected in accordance with our long-standing rules,” the company said in an e-mailed statement Saturday, picked up by Bloomberg.

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The merchant category code is a number–of four digits–that indicates the types of products sold to consumers and is used by credit card companies to classify businesses.

New York authorities indicated that this measure would help financial institutions detect suspicious activity among merchants and save lives.

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