Friday, November 04, 2005

Why promoting GREEN FRIDAY is so important (

Unlike "Americans for Consumer Education and Competition" which easily can be argued is a voice of Visa, as it "enjoys the financial support of Visa USA," The Credit Card Interchange Report: has a simple, transparent message. provides a history and daily update on credit card interchange fees. The goal is to draw attention to and reform an antiquated, costly and unfair payment system. These unbridled, out-of-control merchant fees are a $25 billion dollar annual hidden tax on consumers. But, not for long.

Yes, the co-editors are also lead plaintiffs in the antitrust case against Visa, MasterCard and its member banks. But, they are also well-known entrepreneurs with a passion for initiating grassroots campaigns in support of our country, commerce and social issues. [ex: see "In The News" on their company's website -]. Like all-sized companies, their Orange County, CA-based retail and national ecommerce business is just a snapshot of a national issue caused by collusive price-fixing by the banks which own both charge card associations.

GREEN FRIDAY will help draw attention to these facts:

Country National (credit card) Interchange Rates. Credit card interchange fees are lower in almost every other industrialized country other than in the United States.
Australia 0.55%
EU - Cross Border 0.70%
UK 0.90%
Italy 0.90%
Kong Kong 1.00%

United States 1.70%
* (source, "Cards Costs" 2004, MPC)

"Interchange fees arguably are meant to cover the technology cost of account processing and the risk taken by the issuing bank that the credit will not be repaid. It is no secret that technology costs continue to fall while processing power increases dramatically" (NACS Magazine, July 2005)

Per U.S. household annual interchange fee in 2004 was $232.00 (source, US Dept of Commerce)

"The decade-long increase in U.S. interchange fees is in contrast to the rest of the world, where interchange fees have declined." (NACS Magazine, July 2005).

We must restore a competitive balance in merchant payment processing. Just look at ecommerce companies like and Travelocity, where all their revenues are based on charge cards. Yes, in today's high-tech environment, where everything is faster, more efficient and transparent, merchant fees continue to skyrocket. (