Visa and MasterCard profiting from a devastating natural disaster?
This is another image crisis for the two leading credit card associations and their thousands of member banks. When the public understands that with each electronic payment donation to help the people affected by the Asian cyclone, Visa and Mastercard are doing more than clearing the charges. They are reaping profits from a global tragedy. There should be additional pressure placed on their continued profiteering – this time at the expense of vital aid needed for that region of the world, ratherthan to help fund the banks’ other fiscal missteps.
If you thought that Visa, MasterCard and thousands of banks were heartless by reaping windfall profits during our economic energy crisis and record fuel prices, just wait. Even more dismaying than forcing credit and debit card holders to pay upwards of $2.50 for merchant interchange fees when they pay at the pump, is the current Asian disaster.
The United Nations estimates 1.5 million people have been “severely affected” by the May 2nd cyclone that swept through Myanmar. The death toll in that Cyclone-ravaged region could hit hundreds of thousands of people. What are Visa and MasterCard doing? As far as we know, every time an electronic payment donation is sent to The American Red Cross and other relief efforts, the two leading credit card associations and their thousands of member banks make a profit. The interchange fee, which could be upwards of 2.0% from each donation is being delivered to financial institutions, rather than in direct aid to the people in need.
Even with this horrendously inappropriate level of profiteering, your help is needed. Our ScanMyPhotos.com blog: Tales from the World of Photo Scanning has more info on how you can help.
Even worse is that the American Red Cross is in violation of their credit card merchant agreement and is risking disqualification from Visa and MasterCard because nation’s premier emergency response organization demands a minimum electronic payment of $5.00. Click here to read how they explain the merchant interchange fee issue.
Will Visa and MasterCard waive its interchange fees for American Red Cross and other related transactions?
As the pressure grows for Citigroup Inc’s new CEO, Vikram Pandit to address the troubled bank’s missteps, I wonder whether he has the influence to make the call to Visa and MasterCard on behalf of all the card associations’ member banks?
Are Visa and MasterCard Merchants Violating Their Rules?
“Tragedy of Dead and Survivors in Myanmar Grows Worse” (via Aung Hla Tun reporting for Reuters)