Sunday, November 06, 2005

"Erin Brockovich" Inspiration to

During the next several days leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, you will be reading a great deal about and "GREEN FRIDAY."

On November 25th, shoppers will choose to pay in cash at stores on what traditionally was called "Black Friday" - the busiest shopping day of the year.

[Ecommerce transactions are excluded because they are already forced to accept charge cards. While most online businesses face 100% charge card transactions, the goal is not to impede business or commerce but to support merchants and consumers].

The goal of GREEN FRIDAY is to have consumers draw attention to the banks' $25 billion dollar annual hidden tax against them. An added benefit is if retailers then contribute proceeds from the savings to local food charities to feed the hungry during Thanksgiving.

And, the needy can be very well fed because during the 4-day holiday weekend consumers' purchases are expected to overwhelm Visa, MasterCard and the banks with more than $200,000,000 in credit card interchange fees.

Cha-Ching! That can make even the most hungry very full.

GREEN FRIDAY does have an uphill battle because the two credit card associations are owned by the leading banks in the nation. MasterCard alone is owned by 1,400 banks that issue its cards.

Now the cautionary news.

The first attack on was by the Visa-funded group issuing a press release last week. Next, we would not be surprised by a bank or fanciful-sounding organization's assault. Usually, this involves publishing a series of advocacy ads in the Wall Street Journal -- in this case against GREEN FRIDAY. These full-page global display color rebuttals typically cost $275,000.

The problem for the banks are the facts.

The latest fact was several comments the co-editors of have been hearing. Consumers and shop owners are inspired by GREEN FRIDAY; several suggested this effort reminded them of an American hero, Erin Brockovich and the power of her human spirit. The difference this time is the credit card interchange fight blankets the entire nation. It covers all retailers and all consumers. The battle is larger and so too are the adversaries.

The real-life story of Erin Brockovich took place before the Internet and before blogs and other high-tech forms of online activism. Ms. Brockovich had to walk door to door, the co-editors of just press a few buttons and instantly are read by the banks and their affiliates following this site, along with consumers and other interested parties across the nation and abroad.

Like Ms. Brockovich's triumph over insurmountable odds, remains confident that with more transparency, daily updates and increased understanding this battle too will be a victory for every consumer and every retailer.