Monday, August 28, 2006
Interchange Is No Small Change (WayTooHigh.com)
If you have traveled to Las Vegas recently, the latest spin on slot machines is the electronic valuation button. Rather than playing at a quarter or dollar machine, casinos make it easier and faster to pocket your money. There are fewer coin-operated machines; most just accept paper currency. And, they have this new feature - you choose the machine's valuation for each spin. From 25-cents, to $1, $2, $5. It is your choice - don't forget to always play the full value.
This certainly is no small change, especially if you are accustomed to leisurely playing the quarter machines. Get a few lucky jackpots and you feel compelled to instantly change the currency to a richer denomination.
The difference between a casino and Visa® or MasterCard® is that at least you know what you are playing in Vegas. The rates keep changing, but you are in control. When consumers use their debit and credit cards at a store, doctor's office or anywhere that cards are accepted - because there are nearly one-hundred differing interchange fees - it is anyone's guess what the actual fee will be. And, that is just how the credit card associations like it.
As a retailer and ecommerce business-owner, we have no clue what the individual merchant interchange fees are. But, like millions of other merchants, we too know it is no small change.
Each year the banks reap billions (~$25-billion last year) from these fees which they control by agreement and stand accused by us of illegally fixing the prices on.
Posted by Tales from the World of Photo Scanning at 6:12 PM