That means consumers pay more. More perniciously, it means that they generally have no way to avoid these costs. Banks make it all but impossible for merchants to give discounts to people who pay in cash. So even if people do pay with cash, or with a debit card that has lower transaction costs than a credit card, they pay the same inflated merchandise costs.
Thankfully, that might be about to change. The Senate’s version of financial reform would allow merchants to give discounts to people who pay with cash, checks or low-fee debit cards. It would also stipulate that debit card transaction fees have to be “reasonable and proportional” to their underlying costs.
Our view on financial reform: #SwipeFees boost your costs at the register – USATODAY.com