Wednesday, November 02, 2005

More Banking Troubles; "Black Friday" Busiest Shopping Day Without Credit Cards (

More Banking Troubles; $25 Billion Annual Hidden Tax on Consumers Forces Retailers to Pay Whatever Interchange Fees the Credit Card Associations Dream Up. Until Now!

Consumer revolt being readied for America’s busiest shopping day; Friday after Thanksgiving will be GREEN FRIDAY : "A Day Without Credit Cards - A Day With Cash"

Irvine, CA -- November 2, 2005 -- What would happen if on Friday, November 25th, consumers across America chose cash and checks to shop?

As consumers use cash rather than credit and debit cards on this important shopping day, known as Black Friday, it will signal their disapproval with the banks $25 billion dollar annual hidden tax.
The Credit Card Interchange Report: is evaluating a proposal by consumers to launch this national campaign on November 25th to draw attention to the bank-owned credit card associations' interchange fees.

The goal is to educate not impair commerce. Another immediate benefit is that by using cash, it will help shoppers better budget their spending.

GREEN FRIDAY: "A Day Without Credit Cards -- A Day With Cash" was suggested by consumers and is independent from the co-editors of, who are also lead plaintiffs in the credit card interchange litigation.

The genesis for this consumer initiative began at Irvine, CA-based 30 Minute Photos Etc.

"Growing numbers of our retail customers began paying with cash and writing checks because most were familiar with our role in the antitrust case. They are even understanding the gimmicks and actual value of reward and affinity cards' games. Several people asked if we could expand their individual protests onto a larger forum. We explained that such action would have to come from consumer groups and trade associations," said Mitch Goldstone, co-editor of The Credit Card Interchange Report:

Goldstone explained that he is against consumer boycotts, but as a well-known entrepreneur and consumer advocate he said "this pro-consumer, pro-commerce initiative has great merit." Implementing GREEN FRIDAY: "A Day Without Credit Cards - A Day With Cash" is very simple. Just chose cash or checks. Doing so will draw extensive attention on "Black Friday" and engage additional conversation in the mounting battle against credit card interchange fees.

While there has been widespread media attention centered on the billions of dollars in credit card interchange fees, many retailers and consumers remain unaware of the potentially crippling effect it has on our economy.

Even oil company executives pointed fingers at the banks, proclaiming that their results were even higher (ExxonMobil just announced sales of more than one-billion dollars a day).

Other nations have actually regulated these fees; in Canada the interchange fee for debit cards is zero, yet their PIN network is the preferred method to transact business. When writing checks there is also no interchange fee, yet in the United States, that fee can equate to more money than the actual profit on a sale.

Many merchants are unaware that when they swipe a debit card as a credit card transaction they are charged as if it was a credit card. While the consumer has the funds immediately withdrawn from their account, the retailers can pay upwards of 2.5%, rather than just a flat fee. On a $1,000 transaction, those debit cards can cost a merchant $25.00, rather than just .50 - .75 cents.

Ecommerce businesses would be exempt from GREEN FRIDAY: "A Day Without Credit Cards -- A Day With Cash." The goal is not to harm any merchants. Online businesses are already most impacted because most of its business is transacted by credit cards. For instance, 30 Minute Photos Etc., also operates, a national online boutique photo service where one-hundred percent of its transactions are credit card based.

30 Minute Photos Etc. is lead plaintiff in the class-action antitrust litigation against named defendants, Visa USA Inc., MasterCard International, Inc., and major banks including, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Capital One Bank, Citigroup, MBNA America Bank, N.A., Providian National Bank, and Wachovia Bank, N.A.

[Source:, contact: Mitch Goldstone, co-editor, The Credit Card Interchange Report:, email:].