Friday, May 16, 2008

Interchange has Hearing...But Is Visa/MC even Listening?

In one ear and out the other?

It will be interesting to see what develops out of yesterday's hearing. On the one side the merchants are livid about the fees they pay, on the other side, people don't want the government to step in and essentially "price fix" an industry as that lays a bad precedent.

So what to do? Well, if you're an Internet Retailer, the solution is simple! You can lower your Interchange by 100 Basis Points by switching to HomeATM's patented Web PIN Debit platform. No Government Price Fixing Involved!!!

Oh, and did I mention PIN Debit is about 10 times more secure, has no chargebacks and it's consumers preferred method of payment? I did. Here are some of the press releases regarding this issue from the National Retail Federation, the National Association of Convenience Stores and others...

Merchants Welcome Judiciary Committee Hearing on Interchange Fees

In a press release, the Merchants Payments Coalition says that "merchants welcome encouragement from Democrats and Republicans alike in support of HR 5546, the Credit Card Fair Fee Act, bi-partisan legislation that would end credit card industry price fixing, which is the subject of a hearing today by the House Judiciary Committee Antitrust Task Force."

NACS Comments on Interchange Fees at Yesterday's Hearing

The National Association of Convenience Stores has issued a press release on today's House Judiciary Committee hearing on interchange fees. Tom Robinson, president of San Jose, California-based Robinson Oil Corporation testified today at the hearing...

NRF Says Interchange Fees Cost Families Over $400 This Year

The National Retail Federation in a press release urged the House Judiciary Committee to support antitrust legislation that would require Visa and MasterCard to negotiate with merchants over credit card processing fees. The NRF said "a hidden fee charged by the two card giants is projected to cost the average U.S. family more than $400 this year."

MasterCard Comments at Today's Interchange Fee Hearing

In a press release, MasterCard commented that "merchants do not need price control legislation or an antitrust exemption to lower costs for payment card acceptance, as they already have real opportunities to negotiate fees." Joshua Peirez, Chief Payment System Integrity Officer at MasterCard Worldwide, gave his testimony at the hearing..

House Judiciary Committee Interchange Hearing Testimony

The testimony of several of the witnesses at today's heading on interchange fees by the US House Judiciary Committee is now available online in PDF format. Included is testimony from: Thomas L. Robinson (Vice President of Regulations, National Association of Convenience Stores), Joshua R. Floum (General Counsel and Corporate Sec., Visa Inc.), Steve Cannon (Chairman, Constantine Cannon, LLP), Joshua Peirez (Chief Payment System Integrity Officer, MasterCard Worldwide), John Blum (Vice President of Operations, Chartway FCU), and Edward Mierzwinski (Consumer Program Director U.S. PIRG).

Electronic Payments Coalition Comments on Interchange Hearing

In a press release, the Electronic Payments Coalition commented on today's hearing before the House Judiciary Committee Antitrust Task Force on H.R. 5546: "The Electronic Payments Coalition is pleased that the House Judiciary Committee Antitrust Task Force is holding a hearing today to take a closer look at H.R. 5546, the "Credit Card Fair Fee Act." Members of the Task Force will be given an opportunity to learn quite explicitly that this ill-conceived legislation is nothing short of price controls -- action that would result in less competition, fewer consumer choices, and reduced access to affordable credit and debit options."

UK Payments Data Q1 from APACS

APACS has published its latest quarterly Statistical Release icon_PDF_small.gif covering the first quarter of 2008.

"In the first quarter of 2008 there were 1.8 billion plastic card purchases made in the UK totalling £91.1 billion. The number of purchases was 8.9% higher than in the first quarter of 2007, and spending was 8.9% higher. Debit cards accounted for 72.8% of all plastic card purchases compared with 71.1% in the first quarter of 2007."

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