Friday, October 20, 2006

Casualties of Technology (

The basis for this posting came from an indepth interview we had yesterday for an article that will be published on October 26th.

Study the changes to your industry against the banks and credit card associations. For us, our two separate industries also transitioned but had vastly divergent outcomes as technology forced changes. We made changes, the other one (in our opinion) is protected by the banking cartel.


As a longtime and well-known leader in the photo imaging industry, 30 Minute Photos Etc.
was forced to adapt. Today, very little business is derived from traditional film processing; it is mostly digital. Our customer-base is nationwide today. However, we would have no customers if we were still imposing a film developing charge for each online, in-store kiosk and other digital orders. If you have us make Kodak-quality photographic prints from your digital camera, you would be concerned if there was an added fee for film processing. Right?

Electronic Charge Card Payment Transactions

Think of the 30-billion dollar annual merchant interchange fee boondoggle. It was organized decades ago to cover the cost to process and clear carbon-copy credit card receipts. Today it is more of an untouchable, ghostly bank annuity - even as technology and efficiencies have altered its underpinnings.

Just like with film and many other products and services, the business has changed. However, Visa® and MasterCard's® member banks continue to maintain artificially high interchange fees because we allege it is set by illegal price-fixing and not subject to regular competitive forces. The conspiracy by the banks and their market power forgets that merchants remember the old-fashioned credit card imprinters and what interchange fees were designed to cover. The reward games and other schemes developed by Visa and MasterCard come at an added cost to merchants, cardholders and all consumers who eventually fund the banks interchange annuity.
Note: There are no interchange fees for writing and clearing checks. There are even no interchange fees in Canada for PIN debit card transactions. The merchant interchange fees in third-world countries are even lower than rates charged in the States.