Thursday, July 13, 2006

Oil Surges Past Record High, Above $78 a Barrel; Yields More Windfall Profiteering For Banks (

Oil prices rose to a new high above $78 a barrel today. Since 2002, crude-oil prices have more than tripled. This equates to parallel windfall profits from payment card interchange fees.

A renewed urgency for credit card companies to rescind service station interchange fees to help motorists during this national energy crisis is called for by - The Credit Card Interchange Report.

With expectations that fuel will steadily rise above $80 a barrel, why is it that these record rates are putting pressure on our entire economy and every business segment, with the absence of the banking industry?

The credit card companies are shamelessly silent on these new windfall profits paid each time motorists charge to fill up.

Separately, if service stations face the same dilemma other retailers experience, the credit card cartel is enhancing their fortress of higher interchange fees from payment confusion.

To explain:

Many customers present our business with debit and check cards, but often we are unable to differenciate between those cards and traditional credit card. Other times, customers specifically ask to have us run their electronic payment as a credit card.

The reason:

Banks have promotions that are valid for debit cards only when they are transacted as credit cards. Other times, customers want the cash float, which means the merchant pays extra. On a one thousand dollar transaction interchange fees could be about $25, vs just 50-cents when debit cards are properly keyed in.

Click here for background on how the energy crisis affects consumers.

[Source: gas rate news obtained via AP]