Brave New Retailing World: Merchants Can Charge Extra for Payment By Credit Card

By: Monday July 16, 2012 1:35 pm

The important element of this multi-billion dollar settlement with MasterCard and Visa on an antitrust lawsuit is not the total amount, though retailers stand to gain about $6 billion in damages. It’s the new regime of pricing, under which retails can charge more when you use a credit care, that will affect all our lives.


Progressives, Dem Lawmakers Restart Move Your Money Push

By: Thursday October 6, 2011 8:00 am

PCCC’s email seeks additional co-sponsors for the legislation. But the legislation is mainly a signpost for the idea that Americans still have a choice with their banking. That choice is dwindling as banks consoldiate to an amazing degree. But there still are community banks and credit unions in almost every city, eager for the opportunity to work with customers without trying to gouge them at every turn. And while legislation to make the process of changing banks hassle-free would be very nice, just highlighting the whole idea has value. It adds the notion of competition into a market where banks want none.

BofA Debit Fees Offers Opportunity for Perfect Information to Drive Competition

By: Saturday October 1, 2011 10:15 am

Ever since Bank of America and other banks announced their monthly fees for using debit cards for purchases (BofA is leading the way on this with their $5 monthly fee), I’ve heard an elevated amount of conversation about it from friends and passersby. Most public policy doesn’t grab the person in the street, but charging five bucks to use your own money to buy something has hit a nerve. It’s not for nothing that BofA’s website went down today.

The Fed Gives JP Morgan Chase Another Multi-Billion Dollar Bailout

By: Wednesday June 29, 2011 6:25 pm

Remember that swipe fee measure that passed the Senate twice? It lowered the amount credit card companies can charge merchants to $.12 a transaction. It was a stunning victory that retailers (which admittedly includes WalMart but also includes your locally owned business struggling to stay in business) won that battle twice.

Well, lucky for the banksters, they had one more ace in their pocket: The Federal Reserve, which just cut the baby in half and set transaction fees at $.21 plus some anti-fraud amounts.

The Two-Tiered System of American Justice

By: Tuesday June 14, 2011 4:00 pm

There are two tiers of justice in America. The rich get access to the courts and the ability to avoid accountability if they commit wrongdoing. The poor don’t.

Swipe Fee Battle Comes to a Vote Today

By: Wednesday June 8, 2011 11:34 am

We have all kinds of problems (unemployment, foreclosure, not to mention two wars) that we seem unable to do anything about. What we can do in the United States Congress is engage in a months-long lobby bonanza between the largest retailers in the country and the largest banks in the country over how they will split up the fee for when you purchase products via debit card. And finally, that battle over swipe fees gets a vote today.

Bair, Bernanke Ready to Move on Swipe Fee Rule, Despite Objections

By: Sunday May 15, 2011 8:35 am

A couple weeks ago, we saw the enormous lobby culture massing around swipe fees, the relatively obscure issue that determines where billions of dollars go between banks and retailers. The important thing to start with is that this was already determined through a public process. Last year, Congress held a vote, Dick Durbin got over 60 of his colleagues to support him, the measure survived reconciliation, passed into law, and the Federal Reserve began to implement the rule. The system, therefore, worked. What banks are doing is trying to roll back the clock on the reform. They were paying attention to other matters in FinReg and now they have circled back to this. Because they have money and influence, they think they can just nullify a year’s worth of policymaking.

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