Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fight big banks! Use cash!

Banks claim they need to increase the swipe fee on debit cards to maintain their profits.  Currently many merchants pay a minimum of about 25 cents each time a customer used a debit card.  Many banks want to raise this to over 40 cents.

I talked to one merchant recently, and he said that he also gets charged two percent of each debit card sale.  Gosh, what a sweet deal for the banks.  In two days time, they have taken the money out of the customer's account and put the money in the merchant's account; all done electronically without human intervention.

If they are charging two percent on other people's money for two days, that means they are earning about 180 percent per year!  And they begrudge paying their own customers one percent on savings!

I still use my debit card and credit card for online transactions, but as often as I can I pay cash for bricks and mortar purchases.  It means that I have to visit my bank or one of its ATMs more frequently, but I am helping the local economy my keeping more money in the local merchant's pockets.  Maybe one of these days I may return to writing checks for purchase larger than the cash I want to carry.