Buy them with a credit card and the bank will gouge the seller as much as 4 percent to process the transaction. That’s more than
Even on the relatively “cheap” seats --
High-rollers won’t mind, but these exorbitant “swipe fees” raises prices on everything for the rest of us, ordinary people who may be struggling to buy gas or groceries in this uncertain economy. The fees also exploit and hurt merchants, (especially small ones), a big chunk of our economy, and obstruct economic growth.
Americans thought the 2008 financial crisis would end bank misbehavior after
But the fact is that banks – thanks to the dominance over the card market of just two companies, Visa and MasterCard – still continue to prey on merchants through these onerous and unfair swipe fees.
Visa and MasterCard fix fees for their banks, which makes the market uncompetitive and distorts what should be a free market, like the rest of our economic system. Instead, these fees are growing faster than retailers’ profits in some cases – for instance, convenience stores that sell gas pay billions more every year to the banks than they keep in profit.
Another astonishing fact few people know outside the retail and banking industries: Without a competitive market, these fees have grown to become many retailers’ second-highest operating cost after labor. That is a huge burden, especially for the small merchant.
And don’t kid yourself: Just because you’ve never heard of these fees doesn’t mean they don’t affect you in myriad ways. A study commissioned by the
So when the
For more information about unfair credit-card swipe fees, go to the
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