Business Owners May Get Credit Card Surcharge Rights


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Some businesses curtail credit card acceptance

When you make a credit card purchase for $100, it costs the merchant about $1.00 in processing fees. It’s unclear why card issuers think they deserve a 2% cut.

013891 credit card Some businesses curtail credit card acceptanceMost of the attention in recent months has been focused on fees for processing debit cards.  However, in early July, the Federal Reserve limitedd the base charge that can be imposed to 21 cents per transaction, on average — well below the current average of 44 cents.

The processing fees in question are known as interchange fees, and they’re a major source of revenue for card companies like VISA and MasterCard.  Merchants and consumer groups alike have long challenged the fees for being too high and out of proportion with the actual cost of processing transactions.

Banks contend that they need such fees to maintain the integrity of their computer networks as well as to fund anti-fraud efforts.

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Amex Won’t Process Medical Marijuana Buys

Remember those old Visa commercials used to highlight places where they “don’t take American Express.” Well for legal medical marijuana dispensaries, it looks like a reversal: American Express won’t take them.

NO MARIJUANA copy thumb 300x300 Amex Wont Process Medical Marijuana BuysAs of late April, paitents using their American Express cards topurchase medical marijuana received notice that their cards were declined. The rejection of the cards is due to American Express’ decision to no longer allow purchases of such medicinal products with their cards. American Express made this move despite the fact that the purchase of medical marijuana is legal in 15 states.

So far, American Express has given no reason for the new rule, leaving medical marijuana dispensaries and their customers guessing at possible causes. One theory is that the card issuer has received complaints from companies about their employees using their American Express cards to purchase medical marijuana.  American Express may also have received a high number of fraudulent or unauthorized charges from medical marijuana dispensaries due to people using forged or stolen cards to obtain pot.

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Consumer Confidence Credit Card Use Rebound

According to the Federal Reserve the first increase in credit-card debt since the financial crisis hit helped to boost overall consumer borrowing 3 percent in December, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $2.41 trillion.

Americans are putting more money on their credit cards after more than two years of cutting back, a sign that they are gaining confidence in the economy.

Martin Crutsinger, WASHINGTON (AP)

money spigot Consumer Confidence Credit Card Use Rebound Borrowing in the category that includes credit cards rose 3.5 percent, the first rise since August 2008. Borrowing on auto loans increased 2.8 percent.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, viewed the gain as an encouraging sign that households are becoming more confidence about the economy and jobs. He also said banks are loosening some lending restrictions put in place after the financial crisis.

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Consumers Using Credit Cards Less

1stnat.consumer 1 Consumers Using Credit Cards LessMore people are paying down their credit card balances. AP reported that the amount consumers owed on credit cards in the second quarter “dropped to the lowest level in more than 8 years.” According to figures provided by TransUnion, the average combined debt for bank-issued credit cards dropped to just under $4,951 in the three months ended June 30 – that’s down more than 13 percent from $5,719 in the same period a year ago.

Ezra Becker, director of consulting and strategy in TransUnion’s financial services unit said more borrowers are making on-time payments, and the rate of cardholders past due by 90 days or more also fell .92 percent down from 1.17 percent last year.


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