Visa Is Weighing Vaccine Mandate Ahead of Staff Returning
(Bloomberg) -- Visa Inc. is considering requiring employees to get Covid-19 vaccines ahead of asking them to return to offices in the fall.
The firm has reopened most of its offices around the world, but the vast majority of staff have continued to work from home, Chief Executive Officer Al Kelly said. Ahead of a broader return, the San Francisco-based payments network has asked workers to let the company know their vaccination status, he said.
“From the beginning of this pandemic, the safety of our employees has been our top objective,” Kelly said Friday in a Bloomberg Television interview.
Companies across the San Francisco Bay Area, including Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, have said they’ll mandate vaccines ahead of inviting more staff back to their offices in coming months. Visa, for its part, has about 21,000 employees and owns or leases 125 offices in 78 countries around the world.
As the U.S. continues to reopen following months of lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic -- with some slowdown from the rise of the delta variant -- Visa has seen affluent customers begin to spend more on dining out and travel, Kelly said in the interview. Spending on the firm’s credit cards in the U.S. jumped 44% in the three months through June from a year earlier.
That comes as consumers use their Visa debit cards to pull cash from bank accounts using ATMs less often, and instead use the cards to make everyday purchases, Kelly said.
Kelly also said that Visa, a sponsor of the Olympics in Tokyo this month, remains proud of gymnast Simone Biles, who withdrew from the individual all-around final competition and the women’s gymnastics team final this week to focus on her mental health.
“I applaud her,” Kelly said. “The reality is we’re all human beings, every single one of us. Whether you’re an elite athlete or a CEO, the reality is you have to deal with your health.”
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.