Nov 15, 2006

Transparent interchange fees, printed on credit and debit card receipts

In a recent interview with lead plaintiffs in the interchange lawsuits against Visa, MasterCard and the major banks, a reporter asked Mitch Goldstone what resolution he would like to see. His answer:

"Ultimately there should be no interchange fees; there's no need for it, and that is why this case is so important. I'd like to have Visa and MasterCard print out on every receipt the exact amount that goes to interchange fees."

Mitch's websight,, even provides a sample credit card receipt, reproduced here.

The strategy is simple and potentially very damaging to credit card issuers:

1) make consumers aware of the cost of paying with plastic, especially cards that provide cash back and mileage rewards which command higher interchange fees, then

2) begin surcharging so as to pass the cost of interchange on to consumers.

To win, they don't need courts to force regulation of interchange fees. All they have to do is get courts to allow merchants to surcharge.

Click here to see how merchants in Australia have already gone to the next logical step and added an interchange surcharge to receipts.

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