April 28, 2006
Reuters® reported that Visa USA Inc.® has appointed four outside directors as part of its long anticipated move to distance itself from the banks’ control. The balance of the director appointments, as reported by Reuters® might not occur until next year. (Why the glacial-like slowness when the world’s largest credit card company is facing tens of billions of dollars in potential economic liabilities).
It is also unclear whether the new, non-bank affiliated directors will be involved with voting on future merchant interchange rates. If the “independent” board representatives will not be playing a key role in voting on interchange fee adjustments, then this entire exercise nothing more than window dressing and a shell game.
April 27, 2006
Riddle: If ExxonMobil® faces more scrutiny for standing accused of price gouging, what do you call Visa® and MasterCard®, which reaped huge additional merchant interchange fees? Today, motorists are more often forced to pay with credit cards at service stations.
As ExxonMobil® scores revenues of nearly $90,000,000,000 in just 90-days, remember, the banks too are profiteering from this economic energy crisis.
What is the equivalent merchant interchange take when just one oil company scores sales nearing a billion dollars every day?
April 25, 2006
A Reuters article (April 25) reported that President Bush today will address gas price gouging. As part of the President’s plan for motorists, White House spokesperson, Scott McClellan said “We have a strong economy, but high gas prices are like an additional tax on families that are trying to live within a budget.”
But, what about the hidden, windfall tax on motorists when they use credit and debit cards to pay for a fill-up? It is not just the unfair business practices from the oil refineries and energy wholesalers, but also the banks which are under the consumer and media radar. Visa® and MasterCard’s® huge revenue stream from gas fill-ups is having a profound impact on the entire nation.
While the President will call on energy companies to develop new technologies, an important factor in soaring fees is being overlooked. Electronic payment technology has enabled Visa and Mastercard’s Member Banks to speed up transactions from credit and debit cards, yet since more motorists are forced to pay with payment cards, the banks are reaping windfall profits.
According to Reuters, “Bush will say that in recent days he asked the Energy and Justice departments to look into possible cheating or illegal manipulation of gasoline markets.” While Washington insists that there must not be any price gouging, how can they explain Visa® and MasterCard’s® reaping huge sales without comparably added exposure? The banks can make more than $1.50 from each fill-up.
“Republican leaders in Congress, worried that high fuel costs will turn voters against them, urged the Bush administration to investigate,” Reuters reported. “Anyone who is trying to take advantage of this situation while American families are forced into making tough choices over whether to fill up their cars or severely cut back their budgets should be investigated and prosecuted,” Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.
Rather than just directing attention to the oil companies, WayTooHigh.com – The Credit Card Interchange Report urges leaders in Washington to also ask why the banks are unfairly benefiting from our nation’s energy crisis, and why there is no attention or accountability to Visa® and MasterCard’s® benefiting from price gouging?