Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The $25 Billion Dollar "Convenience" Fee (

A friend recently purchased two concert tickets from Ticketmaster®; each was $35.00 plus a per ticket "convenience fee" of $10.00. This got us to thinking about Visa® and MasterCard's® public relations quagmire. What once was cost-based is now an abundantly unrestrained $25 billion dollar and growing boondoggle. The two leading bank-owned global payment associations call this fee: "Interchange," but they should go all the way and simply change its name. Like TicketMaster, a "convenience" charge, rather than a merchant interchange fee sounds so much softer and controllable. But, either way, when customer's spend $10.00 and more on ticket surcharges, even TicketMaster® is forced to pay a wildly high percent-of-sale to Visa® and MasterCard® when processing their cards.