Armed with a 1980s credit card imprinter, a Twitter account and a blog, retailer Mitch Goldstone is waging war on interchange fees. He’s a small business owner, equipped with an old machine and new social media tools, trying to tackle the giant credit card industry.
Last week, Goldstone was on Capitol Hill as sparks flew on the Senate floor in the debate over financial reform legislation. His goal: to help educate consumers, Congressional leaders and the media about the difference between credit/debit card interchange fees and ATM surcharge fees, and the possible impact of various amendments attached to the sweeping financial reform bill.
“I took the old imprinter with me as a visual prop so that I could easily explain exactly what interchange fees are,” said Goldstone, CEO of ScanMyPhotos.com, a California-based online retailer. “Interchange fees and ATM surcharges are entirely different, but they’re both very complicated topics. One U.S. Senator even admitted that he had no idea what ATM fees are because he has never used an ATM.”