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Table of Contents

Lead Story

No train, no gain

News

Industry Update

Heartland clamps down on breach

Heartland's call to action

Money launderers game for online merchants

Friendly fraud raises fears

2009 Calendar of events

Features

Strong LINC in the payments chain

One council, one voice

Selling Prepaid

It's a wide, wide world of prepaid

Prepaid in brief

The prepaid landscape for 2009

Lessons learned from European prepaid

The benefits of tax refunds on plastic

Views

Make security a small-merchant priority

Scott Henry
VeriFone

Revisit that elevator speech

Biff Matthews
CardWare International

The long fingers of PCI

Ross Federgreen and Rick Allen

Education

Street SmartsSM:
Remain in service? Be of service

Jason Felts
Advanced Merchant Services Inc.

Stand by your plan

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Helping merchants help themselves

Christian Murray
Global eTelecom Inc.

Collecting opportunities

Curt Hensley
CSH Consulting

Totally tailored presentations

Daniel Wadleigh
Marketing Consultant

Get the FUD out of PCI

Tim Cranny
Panoptic Security Inc.

Company Profile

ProPay Inc.

ACH Payment Solutions

New Products

When taking debit becomes a snap

Snap-on Mobile Payment Device
Company: Motorola Inc.

A mobile printer for the payments jungle

EM 220
Company: Zebra Technologies Corp.

Inspiration

Ditch the dark side

Departments

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

Skyscraper Ad

The Green Sheet Online Edition

February 09, 2009  •  Issue 09:02:01

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Forum

Why not reduce interchange?

An article in the Jan. 13, 2009, issue in USA Today titled "During financial pinch, banks reduce credit card rewards" (www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/credit/2009-01-12-banks-credit-card-rewards_n.htm?loc=interstitialskip) notes that the card brands and issuers, in an effort to reduce costs, are eliminating or cutting back on the benefits of their rewards cards. (Hopefully, business owners read this article.)

The card companies tell us that they fund rewards programs exclusively by interchange fees paid by merchants. (Let's forego the marketing spin of more cards in the wallet plus how reward cards increase spending at the merchant.)

The card brands tell us fraud is down and the cost of processing is down - all components, they say, of interchange. The cost of cardholder reward programs is a pass-through to the merchant in interchange fees, and those expenses are going down due to elimination or reduction of the benefits.

So, what is their rationalization now for current interchange rates? Is my view of this incorrect?

Merchants are up in arms over interchange, and rightly so.

Will the card brands reduce interchange fees to help reduce merchant processing expenses during this tough economic time, or will they pocket the added income to increase profits (and pay fines)?

While MasterCard Worldwide and Visa Inc. are now private corporations, it is my opinion that the greed mentality of the banking industry coupled with that of the issuing side are still pervasive within them.

Which side of the mouths from which they speak are the facts - the truth? My advice to the card companies is to get their stories straight before inserting the foot of one area in the mouth of another area.

Biff Matthews
CardWare International

Biff,

Thank you for sharing your perspective on an issue that is not just on the minds of our readers but is also of great concern to merchants, who have taken their complaints to legislators on state and local levels.

If you broach the topic of lowering interchange on GS Online's MLS Forum, you might stimulate lively discussion and, hopefully, constructive action.

Editor

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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