Henry Helgeson, CEO of Merchant Warehouse is wrong on electronic payment interchange #swipefees


CardLine’s PaymentSource quoted Henry Helgeson, CEO of a processing company called Merchant Warehouse, Inc. where he spouted the same old invalid argument that giant banks want American’s, Congress and the Federal Reserve to believe merchants will not pass on to their customers the billions in savings from the new Durbin lower debit fees.

Surprisingly, Mr. Helgeson acknowledges that his company WILL
pass on to its merchant customers the lower debit fees, even though they
are not required to.  As a merchant (retail and eCommerce business owner) I am perplexed that Mr. Helgeson would risk his entire company, his merchant customers and perhaps soon-to-be former customers by taking sides with the giant banks by spouting their propaganda.  MasterCard and Visa’s member banks reap nearly $62 billion dollars a year from these merchant interchange swipe fees, which were designed forty years ago to cover antiquated carbon copy analog payment network.

Unlike the electronic payment network member banks which are without real competition (MasterCard and Visa wield 80% market power), merchants will all be compelled to rebate all saved interchange fees.  Merchants will not JUST lower prices, but we will hire more employees, invest in infrastructure and transparently benefit the economy rather than just the banks’ vaults.  Even so, the legal argument is being clouded by the bank’s multi-million dollar advocacy campaign.  The last thing Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and thousands of other banks want you to know is that the argument is not about refunding savings to consumers, but rather it is all about anticompetitive illegal price-fixing.

As a lead plaintiff, suing MasterCard, Visa and major banks in what could be the largest anti-trust litigation in our nation’s history, I have been leading the battle against them for half a decade. For news and commentary updates follow WayTooHigh.com and Twitter

Mitch Goldstone
President & CEO
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