Sunday, August 06, 2006

Visa® and MasterCard® Say Merchants Don't Have to Use Their Branded Cards (

With 80-percent market dominance and an unbridled control over the entire credit card payment business, Visa® and MasterCard® say merchants can look elsewhere.

The reality.

Retailers' businesses must accept Visa and MasterCard. We are forced to accept their cards or face not being in business. In our opinion, this is no different than a powerful cartel which controls the entire market.

As reported in the Gannett News Service, Visa USA® Vice President, Rhonda Bentz said "[t]hese lawsuits are an attempt by larger retailers, national chain stores and Washington special interest groups to shift the normal costs of doing business onto consumers..." Ms. Bentz forgot about us. 30 Minute Photos Etc. (lead plaintiff in the interchange antitrust litigation) is a retail and ecommerce business that is not part of a large chain or other mentioned category. Instead, we represent millions of ordinary merchants. We are Visa's® core customer and from the more than 400 prior postings, we take exception with the card association's redirection of the facts.

From the pot calling the kettle black.

As for Washington special interests, how does Visa explain their Washington D.C.-based Americans for Consumer Education and Competition, Inc., which "has the financial support of Visa USA®?" This is the group which runs surveys and issues press releases promoting Visa®-biased issues?