Friday, September 21, 2007

"Credit Card Fees Eat Up Merchants’ Profits" (

From the John Boyle reported Citizen-Times' merchant interchange article, we share this observation about who actually receives the $40 billion dollars each year from interchange fees.

Someone does!

As MasterCard® spokeswoman, Sharon Gamsin was quoted in the article, MasterCard [and the Visa® network] "does not receive revenue from interchange — it is a payment between acquiring and issuing banks to balance costs in the system.” However, let us look at who owns [owned] the two leading credit card associations. That's right! The member banks - the same ones who stand accused by us and millions of retailers through our class-action antitrust litigation of illegal price-fixing.

Many banks are double billing; they are both the "acquiring" and "issuing" bank, so how exactly can they justify the double-billing? If they ever get around to answering that, then, question number two: How are the banks justifying they deserve a percent of evey credit card sale at the gas pumps? Oh yes, when you can illegally fix the prices and own the network, you can get away with anything as long as your customers don't notice. As the first of the new lead plaintiff's, having filed the new merchant interchange class-action in 2005, we notice and are asking the questions.

Even as Visa prepares to follow MasterCard towards seeking to protect its current owners (the banks) from this multi-billion dollar potential liability, whether you say that the card associations or the banks directly earn the interchange fee is more about semantics and the interrelationship between the two.