Swipe fees an unfair drag on merchants
News from San Francisco Chronicle:

With growing credit-card use by American consumers, the ever-increasing hidden “swipe” fees imposed by the banks and processors have become a drag on our economy, and need to be reined in.

Most consumers are blissfully unaware that each time they use a credit card, as much as 4 percent of the tab goes straight to card companies and banks.

Business owners like me can negotiate virtually all of our costs, but we are powerless to negotiate swipe fees. This is because the major credit-card companies set rates on behalf of the banks that offer their cards, not on the cost of processing. That is the opposite of the free enterprise system, it is not right and it costs consumers as well as merchants.

Don’t get me wrong. There absolutely should be a fee to process credit cards, but the fee should reflect the cost of the transaction, not the banks’ costly promotions and grossly padded profits.

In the 1970s, I was planning to go to graduate school when I was hired as a summer waiter and bartender at Shadowbrook in Capitola (Santa Cruz County). I fell in love with the business, my co-workers and the patrons – and never left. Back then, credit-card swipe fees were no big deal. The cost seemed commensurate with the service provided. But now it is much different.

I can recall when we needed to look up every card number in a mammoth paper b…………… continues on San Francisco Chronicle

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Related News:

Put Away the Plastic: 10 Things Credit Cards Can’t Buy
News from Fox Business:

Apparently, money can’t buy happiness, and if you are using a credit card, that’s not the only thing your money won’t be able to buy. Despite the belief credit cards can take you ‘everywhere you want to be’ – as the old Visa slogan went – the reality is there some places where your plastic won’t be gladly accepted.

Here are ten items for which you might need to pocket the card and pull out the cash or checkbook.

1. Lottery tickets

If you dream of winning millions through your state’s lottery program, you’ll probably have to have some cash ready when you reach the register. Most states prohibit the use of the credit cards for lottery purchases. Even in the handful of states that accept credit cards, your card issuer may put the kibosh on lottery sales. For example, even though Massachusetts allows credit card sales, American Express won’t authorize payments for the state’s Season Ticket program.

2. Gami…………… continues on Fox Business

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