Saturday, December 16, 2006

MasterCard's® Planned Interchange Fee Cap For Gas Retailers (

The news last September seemed monumental, but what happened since the press release?

Whatever happened to the heralded announcement by MasterCard Worldwide® of their response to growing scrutiny of windfall profiteering at the gas pumps? Did Visa® ever follow along too?

From news reports, the second largest card association was planning to limit interchange fees for U.S. gas purchases. Overseas, we see that the company is also planning to lower rates by 60% for debit card transactions, and in the States, sort of lower rates at the pumps too. All this helps demonstrate that interchange fees are way too high.

According to Digital Transactions (Sept 5, 2006) "while the announcement gives no specific effective date for the cap on gasoline interchange, a MasterCard spokesman says the drop-dead date is April 1, 2007."

We wonder what might occur should there be another energy pricing crisis in the States and should gas prices rise again, how will MasterCard respond? Will they hold the cap at $50? Either way, the gimmick is still irrelevant and disconnected from the reality that most motorists' gas tanks cannot hold more than $50 anyway.

Out of Touch (

"MasterCard Initiative: Priceless?" (Convenience Store News)

"MasterCard Offers Concessions In Interchange Fee Battle" (

"MasterCard Says to Disclose More Merchant Fees" (via Reuters)