If Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide would post the exact merchant interchange fees on every credit card receipt it would accelerate attention to the $62 billion annual hidden tax on consumers and retailers. This relief is being championed by the editor of WayTooHigh.com — The Credit Card Interchange Report, Mitch Goldstone.
According to WayTooHigh.com, Visa USA Inc. is posting a matrix of perplexing rate schedules and scores of fees on its website; MasterCard also has a similar fee schedule that is more than one hundred pages.
“A more straightforward pricing model to easily obtain fee schedules is in place at most other businesses,” explained Mitch Goldstone, WayTooHigh.com editor and a lead plaintiffs in the antitrust litigation against the two leading credit card associations and its member banks.
As an example, Goldstone, who is president and CEO of California-based ScanMyPhotos.com, said “when consumers order concert tickets from Ticketmaster, the receipt includes the exact ‘convenience charge,’ ‘delivery’ and ‘order processing fees.’ When packages are sent via Federal Express, a detailed price quote pops up on the online ordering page to provide the exact ‘fuel surcharge’ and other fees. If Federal Express’ rates are too high, consumers can choose another carrier. But, with an 80% market monopoly, retailers are forced to accept the two leading payment card brands.”
“While not endorsing a particular solution, it would be more helpful for consumers if there were unambiguous and transparent interchange fees for each transaction — right on the charge receipt,” said Goldstone
“Disclosing the exact interchange fee on every credit card receipt will help consumers and retailers better understand the real extent of these charges,” commented Goldstone who explained that “average credit card interchange fee in the U.S. is about 1.7% of the total charge.”
Just as sales tax is included on receipts, Goldstone believes that more transparency for the merchant interchange tax would lead to more competition among card networks. By doing so, he said “the volume of consumer and retailer outrage will be amplified.
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