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

February 22, 2011

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

Federal Reserve Board Press Release: Proposed Rule That Would Establish Debit Card Interchange Fee Standards [#SwipeFees]

December 16, 2010

Press Release


Federal Reserve Press Release

Release Date: December 16, 2010

For immediate release

The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday requested comment on a proposed rule that would establish debit card interchange fee standards and prohibit network exclusivity arrangements and routing restrictions.

The Board’s proposal would implement the debit card interchange fee and routing provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Debit card interchange fees are established by payment card networks and paid by merchants to card issuers for each transaction.

The proposed new Regulation II, Debit-Card Interchange Fees and Routing, would establish standards for determining whether a debit card interchange fee received by a card issuer is reasonable and proportional to the cost incurred by the issuer for the transaction. These standards would apply to issuers that, together with their affiliates, have assets of $10 billion or more. Certain government-administered payment programs and reloadable general-use prepaid cards would be exempt from the interchange fee limitations.

The Board is requesting comment on two alternative interchange fee standards that would apply to all covered issuers: one based on each issuer’s costs, with a safe harbor (initially set at 7 cents per transaction) and a cap (initially set at 12 cents per transaction); and the other a stand-alone cap (initially set at 12 cents per transaction). Under both alternatives, circumvention or evasion of the interchange fee limitations would be prohibited. The Board also is requesting comment on possible frameworks for an adjustment to the interchange fees to reflect certain issuer costs associated with fraud prevention.

If the Board adopts either of these proposed standards in the final rule, the maximum allowable interchange fee received by covered issuers for debit card transactions would be more than 70 percent lower than the 2009 average, once the new rule takes effect on July 21, 2011.

The proposed rule would also prohibit all issuers and networks from restricting the number of networks over which debit card transactions may be processed. The Board is requesting comment on two alternative approaches: one alternative would require at least two unaffiliated networks per debit card, and the other would require at least two unaffiliated networks per debit card for each type of cardholder authorization method (such as signature or PIN). Under both alternatives, the issuers and networks would be prohibited from inhibiting a merchant’s ability to direct the routing of debit card transactions over any network that the issuer enabled to process them.

According to the recently released 2010 Federal Reserve payment study, debit card use in the United States now exceeds all other forms of noncash payments and, by number of payments, represents approximately 35 percent of total noncash payments.

Comments on the proposal are due by February 22, 2011.

Federal Register notice: 636 KB PDF

Statement by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke

Statement by Vice Chair Janet L. Yellen


Mitch Goldstone at WayTooHigh.com (ScanMyPhotos.com) Asks Kim Kardasian to help end unfair, excessive credit card fees #swipefees

December 1, 2010

Today, Atlantapost.com wrote that Mitch Goldstone, president and CEO of ScanMyPhotos.com has called for Kim Kardasian and her terminated “Kim Kard” prepaid MasterCard to use the lesson learned to demand an end to all unfair credit and debit card fees from MasterCard and Visa.


Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/waytoohigh

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act already led to new savings at ScanMyPhotos.com

July 23, 2010

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and debit card fee reduction already led to new savings at ScanMyPhotos.com


Most Recent Tweets from @WayTooHigh [#SwipeFees]

July 16, 2010


  1. GOP against financial reform, concern re “competition,” if honest issue, should break up MasterCard, VISA 80% monopoly #swipefees 
  2. UPDATED BANKING NEWS Lake Forest autism charity wins $20,000 in online vote http://ht.ly/18aqjj   
  3. Shareholders will have to force banks not to buy elections   
  4. In the Economy | Dow Dives 260 on Earnings, Consumer Worries http://ht.ly/18anMg   
  5. Financial Blog Alert CD rates in Indianapolis, Indiana – If you like to stay local with your CD investments, Bankrat… http://ht.ly/18anN1 
  6. Bank of Americia, a leading credit card issuer and mjr VISA/MasterCard shareholder, down more than 9% today #swipefees   
  7. #SwipeFees = anti-competitive; like Pepsi/Coca-Cola telling stores they will be fined if they charged people less for other brand   
  8. Could you imagine if credit card biz settled for a bln $, let’s say, they’d made that up in a few days of #SwipeFees. NOT   
  9. RT @Taylor_West: I also missed my one-year Twitter anniversary, which was apparently six days ago. Alas. [Happy Tweetversary, Taylor] 
  10. Financial Blog Alert Ignore the doomsayers? – You may have heard predictions of gloom and doom for the stock market … http://ht.ly/18aiDh   
  11. MasterCard & VISA are desperate, unAmerican and enemy of small businesses #SwipeFees   
  12. #swipefees fund MasterCard, VISA, banks & credit unions vaults not electronic payment network, they was built decades ago   
  13. MasterCard & VISA have ~100 #swipefees, better chance in Vegas guessing what your #SwipeFees were   
  14. http://www.enewspf.com/index.php/latest-news/latest-local/17565-durbin-statement-on-the-passage-of-sweeping-wall-street-reform-bill- 
  15. UPDATED BANKING NEWS Asia mostly lower, as strong yen slaps Nikkei http://ht.ly/18afTA   
  16. Financial Blog Alert How optimistic are you? – So how are we all feeling two years after the global economic collaps… http://ht.ly/18afVB   
  17. Bank of America emphasizes its ATMs with new eBanking account http://ht.ly/18afVX   
  18. Financial Reform Could Hurt Consumers – A change in regulations for debit cards may benefit retailers to the detrime… http://ht.ly/18afX2   
  19. Visa fake “survey” not 1st time tricking consumers. They fund “Americans for Consumer Education and Competition” http://ht.ly/20eCP   
  20. Next up, post financial reform bill is curbing MasterCard, Visa and banks’ CREDIT card antiquated #Swipefees   
  21. Financial Reform Bill Passes — And Regulators Are Left… http://huff.to/8Z5xzp (HuffPost) #SwipeFees   
  22. Banks Already Gearing Up To Profit Off Of New Rules http://huff.to/d9AAzp #swipefees. (HuffPost)   
  23. I’m competitive, a capitalist and staunchly pro-consumer AND support the new Financial Reform Bill/Law #swipefees   
  24. RT @Taylor_West: Big win for small biz in #WallStReform – finally some fairness on debit & credit card #swipefees. [tkx to you too!]   
  25. RT @PMAMagazine: #PMANewsline: Retailers benefit from steady second quarter e-commerce sales http://bit.ly/9vDaZG   
  26. Financial reform creates political opportunity to reinvent all credit/debit card #swipefees $MA $V   
  27. Over 5 1/2 years, WayTooHigh.com has nearly 1800 posts battling MasterCard/VISA #swipefees [SwipeFees.org]   
  28. If US were to reduce interchange #SwipeFees rate from 2.0%t to 0.5%, the savings would be $36 bln p year, (Economic stimulus)   
  29. Thanks to the mlns of other retailers/ecommerce biz owners for helping to pass financial reform, limit debit card #swipefees   
  30. RT @NACSonline: @WayTooHigh thanks for all your help!! [you too, big day, next “credit card” #swipefee reform, Mitch]   
  31. Financial Blog Alert New overdraft regulation pulls down CD rates http://ht.ly/18acG0   
  32. Free travel rewards on your credit cards same marketing scheme as comps at casinos. Not FREE + YOU pay #swipefees   
  33. Post financial reform law, all merchants & ecommerce biz’ must double-down to reform credit card #swipefees too   
  34. Visa, MasterCard compete to deliver highest returns to banks rather than lowest prices to consumers #SwipFees   
  35. credit card electronic payment network must be paved with GOLD, taking in ~$120,000,000 in “Swipe” EVERY day   
  36. In the Economy | Stocks Jolted by Consumer, Earnings Issues – U.S. stocks got off to a weak start Friday after Bank … http://ht.ly/18aa5P   
  37. Financial Blog Alert Nervous dates for Obamacare prom – Now the delicate courting dance begins between the Obama adm… http://ht.ly/18aa6s   
  38. Can Twitter SM tool help shame giant Visa and MasterCard #SwipeFees cartel; follow along and let us see (@WayTooHigh  
  39. MasterCard, VISA “rewards” uses accurate name; #swipefees reward BANKS   
  40. When the mlns of merchants + all cardholders beat MasterCard/VISA cartel, must demand they don’t raise other fees #swipefees   
  41. Merchants/consumers pay charge/debit card #swipefees, but often “rewards” never redeamed   
  42. Last holdout relic from analog carbon copy analog days are credit card interchange #swipefees   
  43. What next? Will VISA buy a “study” proclaiming all cardholders use all their accumulated “reward” perks. Prepaid 100% via #swipefees   
  44. Headline News – July 16, 2010 – Headline News is brought to you by Glenbrook Partners and our PaymentsJobs.com job b… http://ht.ly/18a7jf   
  45. In the Economy | Stocks Hit by Consumer Data, Mixed Earnings http://ht.ly/18a7k1   
  46. MasterCard, VISA, banks’ $48bln #swipefees compromise strength of every business worldwide.   
  47. GOP against financial reform, concern re “competition,” if honest issue, should break up MasterCard, VISA 80% monopoly #swipefees   
  48. UPDATED BANKING NEWS Citigroup profit dips 10 percent, loan losses fall http://ht.ly/18a4D5   
  49. In the Economy | Stocks in Red on Big Earnings Day – U.S. stocks got off to a weak start Friday after Bank of Americ… http://ht.ly/18a4Dh
  50. Financial Blog Alert Don’t click on that FDIC’ link – The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., or FDIC, has issued a war… http://ht.ly/18a4DR   
  51. Financial Blog Alert Feds tell banks to be nice to folks affected by oil gusher http://ht.ly/18a4DQ   
  52. Last time VISA, MasterCard lost suit, paid ~$3B settlement then RAISED fees to more than cover, not this time! END #swipefees   
  53. Thanks @NACSOnline and your members for helping to pass financial reform & limit debit card #swipefees   
  54. Mitch Goldstone, Pres & CEO of ScanMyPhotos.com calls MasterCard/Visa #SwipeFees “a vulgar statement of credit card greed.”
  55. MNRetailersAsso NRF Calls Passage of Landmark Swipe Fee Fix a Major Victory for Retailers and Consumers over Debit and Credit Card Fees http://bit.ly/9sihKO 
  56.  National Restaurant Association Praises Senate Passage of Interchange Fee Reform http://bit.ly/d1eeIe   
  57. Who makes more money from apps, credit card companies for Apple? Yup! The banks in #swipefees http://ow.ly/22DGy   
  58. Bank of America Corp. reported Friday a net profit that slipped 3% in the second quarter  
  59. Florida Bank to Acquire Anderen – Florida Bank Group said Thursday that it will acquire Anderen Financial, of Palm H… http://ht.ly/189Zb1
  60. UPDATED BANKING NEWS JP Morgan Had a House Made of Diamonds, and So Should You [Recessionomics] http://ht.ly/189ZcC   
  61. In the Economy | Futures Pause After Bank of America Earnings Beat http://ht.ly/189Zd6   
  62. UPDATED BANKING NEWS Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks get lift from BP, Goldman news http://ht.ly/189IEH   
  63. Congress Passes Financial Reform Legislation – The U.S. Senate gave final passage today to the long debated financia… http://ht.ly/189GDL
  64. National Restaurant Association Praises Senate Passage of Interchange Fee Reform http://bit.ly/d1eeIe   
  65. #SwipeFees Update | Most Issuers Report Fewer Chargeoffs in June http://ht.ly/189BNG   
  66. #SwipeFees DC News | Think Reg Reform Is Done? Just Wait for the ‘Corrections’ Bill http://ht.ly/189BNJ   
  67. Senate passes FinReg (Financial Reform Bill) #swipefees. Good 1st step in reining in MasterCard/VISA fees   
  68. #SwipeFees DC News | Congress Finishes Regulatory Reform – The Senate, 60 to 39, approved the version completed by a… http://ht.ly/189sqz 2  
  69. Financial Blog Alert Women need long-term care insurance even if it is pricey http://ht.ly/189ssN   
  70. Post financial reform law, all merchants & ecommerce biz’ must double-down to reform credit card #swipefees too
  71. Thanks to the mlns of other retailers/ecommerce biz owners for helping to pass financial reform, limit debit card #swipefees  
  72. Thanks the National Retail Federation for helping to pass financial reform & limit debit card #swipefees 2  
  73. Thanks to 7-Eleven franchisee and customers for helping to pass financial reform & limit debit card #swipefees   
  74. RT @cbsmoneywatch: Senate Passes Financial Reform http://bnet.io/9c4Tgq
  75. UPDATED BANKING NEWS J.P. Morgan Chase earnings surge 76% – J.P. Morgan Chase said Thursday that its second-quarter … http://ht.ly/189pMo 1
  76. Financial Blog Alert Financial reform will change mortgage world http://ht.ly/189pNe
  77. Can credit card issuers and acquirers become like rats in a cage? RT (@WayTooHigh) to make it happen 
  78. Funny, banks say merchants will keep #swipefees savings, hey, that’s what THEY do as their costs go down, they raise fees!   
  79. SwipeFees,net, SwipeFees.org and the 5 1/2 yr WayTooHigh.com blog shut down this am – trying to get reestablished. Hello media, legal team
  80. Banks must be steaming now, not directly accusing ’em of forcing WayTooHigh.com down, but interesting FinReg vote same day?!
  81. Senate passes FinReg (Financial Reform Bill) #swipefees. Good 1st step in reining in MasterCard/VISA fees

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How Card Issuers Sneak Around New Laws (Consumerist)

June 14, 2010

Crafty credit card issuers aren’t going to let a little thing like the law get in the way of their profits. Nope, they’re finding creative ways to get around the pro-consumer CARD act and maintain their grip on your pocketbook.

READ ARTICLE: Via Consumerist. http://consumerist.com/2010/06/how-card-issuers-sneak-around-new-laws.html

HEARD ON THE STREET: Reading the Tea Leaves on Financial Overhaul – WSJ.com

May 23, 2010

There is also uncertainty, for example, as to whether an amendment pushed by Senator Richard Durbin on credit-card interchange fees was intended to also extend regulatory oversight to other card fees. A spokesman for the senator said that wasn’t his intention. But if that isn’t spelled out, investors will be concerned about the potential impact on card processors like Visa and MasterCard and card issuers like American Express.

via HEARD ON THE STREET: Reading the Tea Leaves on Financial Overhaul – WSJ.com.