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Readers respond to debit card swipe fees

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Are banks and credit card companies charging too much for debit transactions? Here’s what we heard:

"The Washington lawmakers should allow retailers to add the swipe fee to their sale total. This would put consumer pressure on the banks to compete for which card the consumer will use and thereby create competition. As it is, the retailer is required to absorb the fee. And the retailer, of course, is going to accept whatever card the customer wants to use. There is no competitive pressure here on the banks because the decision is made by a consumer who has no skin in the game.

“There are simple solutions to most problems. And since the consumer is going to cover the cost anyway, it is best to have the banks fighting for the consumer’s preference.

“No bureaucracies, no government pricing forced on anyone. It’s amazing how well the free market can work.”
— Charles Hildreth
Chairman
The Emery-Waterhouse Co.
Portland, Maine
 

“Why should a swipe fee even exist for a debit card?  If a retailer is paid with a manual check, there is no fee to the consumer or the retailer when depositing the check in the retailer’s bank, or when the check is presented to the issuing bank for payment.  Banks have much lower handling costs on an electronic transaction than on handling a manual check, which has no fees. And a debit card is simply an electronic check.”
— Jeff Barnes

“Card companies are charging too much for swipe fees. They are also charging too much for credit through their card programs, including outrageous amounts if you happen to be late with a payment. The card industry deserves all the heat they get — and more.”
— Al Drinkwater
Lowell, Ark.

“I recall the onset of ATM/debit cards, and all the hoopla of  ‘convenience’ for the customer. I knew then, and in the future, the banking industry will do anything to the public for profit. This country needs to address excessive fees and such, either by shaming the industry (which is impossible), but more likely by installing strict regulation.”
— Name withheld

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H.Daniels says:
Aug-09-2011 08:04 am

We've seen this before - the
We've seen this before - the great "financial reform" legislation already passed has made it much harder for financially responsible people to get or to refinance mortgages, while jamming through "loan modifications" for the benefit of not just the deserving who have fallen on hard times and are sparing no effort to get back on track but of the reckless deadbeats as well, who bought far more home than they could afford and go on to default on the modified mortgage just like they did on the original one. Or the wonderful protective measures that prevent banks from imposing fees on spendthrifts who can't be bothered with balancing their checkbooks or reining in their impulse spending at their credit card limits, while causing banks to make up that income by eliminating free checking accounts and jacking up annual credit card fees for the rest of us. Forgive me if I and a growing number of others are a bit peeved that our elected representatives seem more concerned with protecting the lawbreakers from the negative consequences of their illegal activities, and insulating the careless and irresponsible from the natural by-products of their own reckless or heedless behavior, and instead prefer to stick the law-abiding, hard-working, tax-paying rest of us with the bill. This is the very type of legislation that gives force to the arguments for "less government" - it is doing something for the benefit of one undeserving interest group rather than for another undeserving interest group, and ignoring the probable lack of benefit to the public at large in the process.

K.Ysaac says:
Jul-14-2011 05:56 am

Thanks for sharing your
Thanks for sharing your insights and explaining the possible situation about this issue. I think no one will ever stop all those people in using credit card because somehow it is helpful while having a possible short income in your family. As you can see, it is too much needed because of the economic recession. However, if you are the type of person who pays for everything in cash, understanding tips on how to discover the best charge card is probably not for you. With some research, you are able to discover how to find the best credit card rather easily. Save cash with these ideas. You are able to get installment loans for whatever you cannot pay for though.

T.DE MONTI says:
Jun-16-2011 02:33 pm

I don't understand all the
I don't understand all the complaining. My wife owned a business where she accepted credit cards, check cards and debit cards. The fees charged by banks for the card processing were eventually passed on to the consumer via product and service pricing. The fees were an operating expense just like payroll. If fees would increase significantly, trust me, prices would increase.

[email protected] says:
Jun-15-2011 05:18 pm

I agree. Why should fees be
I agree. Why should fees be charged for a debit card. The retailer knows in advance if funds are available. Mr Hildreth makes the statement that "we" do not have skin in the game. We are the one paying the bill. I ask before hand if they charge a fee. If they say yes, I leave! R Deitrich Wrightsville, GA

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William Farrell retires from AHMA

BY HBSDealer Staff

The 30-year AHMA veteran will retire as vice chairman of the American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA), but will remain as a liftetime honorary member of the board.

After more than 30 years of service to the AHMA, Farrell will assume the title of vice chairman emeritus, according to the Schaumburg, Ill.-based industry group. He will continue to represent the association at various industry events.

Farrell, who is the father of the AHMA’s current president and CEO Timothy Farrell, joined the AHMA in 1980 as executive director. In a prepared statement, he said: "I’ve been exceptionally fortunate to have been part of an organization and an industry of so many wonderful people, and to have had the opportunity not only to work with them, but to build life-long personal relationships with many of them as well."

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Firepot manufacturer halts sales after accidents

BY HBSDealer Staff

After reports of numerous burn injuries, Duluth, Ga.-based Napa Home and Garden issued a "precautionary hold" on sales of its gel burners and gel fuels. 

According to the company, the decorative firepots made by Napa and other suppliers are sold in most major mass market retailers and thousands of independent stores.

"My wife KC and I decided to take this step when we learned about recent reports of serious injuries," said owner Jerry Cunningham. "We have sold tens of thousands of Fire Burners and fuel during the last two years and have always considered them safe products."

After numerous reports of burning injuries in the New York Times and other media outlets, the company said it is taking the following three steps:

• Requesting all customers temporarily remove gel burners and gel fuel from the shelves as a precaution;

• Using a third-party safety expert to review the product’s safety, warning labels and "Care and Use" information to make sure it provides accurate and complete safety information to the consumer; and

• Investigating the accidents to determine if there was anything wrong with any batch of fuel.

"I don’t know what the other suppliers are experiencing," Cunningham said. "But we’re a small family owned business, we care very much about our customers, and we want to help assure our products are used safely."

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