Monday, June 12, 2006

Another Secret Profit Stream for Creditcards

Merchant fees, another way consumers who are conned out of their money, regardless of whether they use creditcards...

"Credit card companies do not want merchants to charge credit card users more than they charge other customers, even though the merchant pays a fee of 2 to 3 percent (merchants negotiate an exact percentage with their banks) to process credit payments. In some countries this fee may be significantly more. If customers were responsible for this fee, it would often discourage credit card usage. Some critics have observed that this results in what is effectively a hidden tax on all transactions conducted by merchants who accept credit cards since they must build the cost of transaction fees into their overall business expense. The end result is that cash consumers are essentially subsidizing credit card holder purchases. The cost of the convenience enjoyed by card holders and the profits taken from transaction fees by the card industry (which has come to rely increasingly on this revenue stream over the years) is partially offloaded onto the backs of the cash consumer. Critics go on to say that further compounding the issue is the fact that the consumers most likely to pay in cash are the least able to afford the additional expense (card holders are more likely to be affluent, non-card holders less so)." Wikipedia Article

The argument that using cash is subsidizing profits this way, is just propoganda to encourage the use of creditcards. The less creditcards are used, the less the subsidy would need to be. Consumers who use creditcards pay a lot more than they realize for that convenience, in many hidden ways.

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