Friday, September 21, 2007

Where Are The Pro-Interchange Fee Blogs? (

Like in baseball, it is easy to keep score, just look at the scoreboard. In politics, there are polls. For interchange fees, there is little other than those regular notices of fee increases.

As retailers continue battling against the two leading credit card associations and its member banks, it is also easy to keep score.

With nearly 800 postings on - The Credit Card Interchange Report, we have yet to profile a single pro-interchange fee blog. Not one. Well, there is always that "pro consumer," "pro competition" group that enjoys the financial support of Visa, but that really shouldn't count.

Where are the merchants championing 1.7% interchange fee rates, and challenging Where are U.S. retailers thanking Visa® and MasterCard® for charging among the highest rates in the world, while abroad, the interchange fees are 0.7%, 0.5% and even 0.0% - there are no interchange fee for debit PIN-based cards in Canada.

The reason for such silence?

Merchants understand they are being taken on a ride when cardholders present their affinity frequent flyer cards. The merchants, and thus the consumers are paying for these perks and the nearly $40 billion a year in interchange fees.

Since we were the first to launch the merchant interchange litigation back in mid-2005, there have been no pro-interchange fee blogs that we are familiar with. That speaks volumes about our cause and the unfair fees.

*** Stay tuned for our regular news and commentary updates on Visa over the next several months as it attempts to follow MasterCard and try to distance its member banks' liabilities.