Readers Respond: Swipe fees at the point of sale


One of the provisions of a proposed settlement with Visa and Mastercard over interchange fees is that the cards will change their rules to allow retailers to begin charging customers a fee — 1% to 3%, for example — to cover the swipe fee charged by the card companies. Most readers say they are in no hurry to alienate customers with an extra fee. 

“This will become a competitive advantage issue with leading retailers using the absence of any fees against any that charge the fees, or providing no fee to Frequent Shopper card holders. A useful statistic would be a compilation by IRI or Nielsen of cash to card ratios by basket size to better understand the impact of any charges.

“One sees many online sellers dropping or discounting shipping fees as an analog to this potential set of charges.

“Net: any additional fees will disappear within six months.”
— David D Harvison

“I think the retailer should add the fees as a surcharge. I know for we, that would encourage me to pay cash and likely most other consumers who have the cash. It would serve three purposes.

• "Cause pause to people about building credit card debt;

• "Hopefully reduce sell price on goods where the bank fees are already built into the cost of the goods; and

• "Potentially cause banks to reduce fees if they want people to use their cards.”
— Greg

"At sometime in the future you will see this fee being charged, but I sure don’t want to be the first to start it."
— Merle P. Higgins

"Business is just too competitive to add 3% to a posted price at the time of the transaction. While I suspect that many merchants will offer a cash incentive, it is more likely that, over time, "price creep" will take place with upward adjustments in the 2% to 2.5% range, mitigating the swipe fee burden. Sooner rather than later, this will become a non-issue."
— Kurt Markshausen

"The question is not whether to pass along the fee, or absorb. Retailers should have been building it into the pricing structure all along. You know the percentage of CC payments, and how much in fees you get charged. Everyone was in the same boat, so everyone had to incorporate the fee into their prices. I know Kroger was beind this change in large part. However, I would not want to be the first one in town to add a fee for paying with a credit card.

æThe first time it happens to me, I will just leave my grocery cart, and walk out. These fees do not need to be itemized on a customers receipt. What’s next, $2.99 for milk, plus 3% for CC fee, plus 1% for wearing out the floors, 1% for electricity, 2% because I choose to go to a person cashier instead of a self-serve checkout. Don’t itemize your cost of doing business onto the customer; just build it into the price of the items. The first ones to try it will lose a lot of customers, I for one do not want to take that chance, or put a ‘bad taste’ in anyones mouth, once that is done, it can not be cleaned back to the way it was, never happens."
— Rick B.


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c.michaels says:
May-09-2014 06:33 am

Retailers have long
Retailers have long complained about the billions of dollars in swipe or interchange fees that they have had to pay. Let me share you this.If you've tried PayPal and would like something different, you may like Dwolla. This cash-only service does anything but credit cards or debit cards. It's also less expensive than the competition. Use a short term loan to help pay your next PayPal payment. It's a great help.

Jul-24-2012 03:43 pm

This is much ado about
This is much ado about nothing. The retailers have already allowed for this fee in the retail price. Don't kid yourself to think otherwise. This is an attempt by the major retailers to put the screws to another of the vendor partners they do business with. They first squeeze every last drop of blood out of the vendors, then they knock off the product in China and import it themselves. Next step is to go after the service providers and threatening to add a fee to the transactions is only about driving additional revenue from the fee they have already added into the product to begin with. The bottom line is if they enact this rule they should then drop the price of everything in the store by 2.5-3% and add the fee to those choosing to pay by credit card. Yeah Right! This is posturing by the retailers sticking their chest out and making the statement they can hurt the credit card companies more by reducing charges and the interest they accumulate as the customers pay over time (where the real money is for the CC companies). As consumers we have let the big companies get too big. Now we are at their mercy while they replace manufacturing jobs with low paying/no benefit retail jobs.



Would you like to see the re-emergence of an association like the AHMA?

The latest in wet areas: biobased resins

BY Ken Clark

DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products today announced that Panasonic Corporation Eco Solutions Company has adopted biobased resins made with Susterra Propanediol for their new line of kitchen and bathroom systems.

Susterra propanediol is certified 100% biobased by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, making it attractive for companies seeking to add renewable content to their products. A peer-reviewed life cycle assessment (LCA) demonstrates that the production of biobased propanediol offers significant environmental benefits, including up to 40% less greenhouse gas emissions and 40% less non-renewable energy used in its production versus petroleum-based glycols.

The new integrated kitchen system, “Living Station,” and bathroom system, “Cococino,” both use biobased resins made with Susterra and are now available commercially through Panasonic Corporation Eco Solutions Co.

The new kitchen and bathroom systems were developed using Panasonic’s technology of compounding plant-derived and petroleum-derived resins. The resins, based on plant-derived Susterra, are used to manufacture the kitchen countertops in the “Living Station” product line and the bathroom ceilings in the “Cococino” product line.

For the first time in the Asia Pacific region, biobased resins were adopted as the building material for wet areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. The biobased materials also are used for the wash basins and toilets in the Panasonic product line.

“The quality requirement for wet area system materials is very high,” commented Kazumasa Rokushima, director of the General Technology & Products Development Center, Housing Systems Business Group at the Panasonic Eco Solutions Co. “We are delighted to be the first in the industry with a biobased commercialized product offering. This achievement contributes to Panasonic’s sustainability goals as outlined in ‘Green Plan 2018.’ The year 2018 is the 100th anniversary of the Panasonic Co.”

Panasonic Corporation Eco Solutions Company is part of the Panasonic Group with offices in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan.



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Would you like to see the re-emergence of an association like the AHMA?

Boral introduces hail-resistant roofing option

BY Ken Clark

Boral Roofing, provider of clay and concrete roof tile, introduced the Class 4 Hail Rated Storm Series roofing solution, a weather- and impact-resistant roofing option designed for high performance in hail storms. 

Storm Series has been awarded the highest hail performance certification recognized in the industry. A sustainable roofing system, Storm Series provides energy-efficiency benefits and insurance cost savings.

“Storm Series is designed for durability and performance,” said John Renowden, VP technology for Irvine, Calif.-based Boral Roofing. “Tile roofs may help you qualify for insurance reductions in hail regions.” 

Boral Roofing’s Storm Series product line has undergone severe impact-resistant testing in accordance with the FM 4473 standard. The roof is proven to withstand sequential 2-in. ice ball impacts at speeds up to 104 ft. per second. Storm Series is certified through the Roof Covering Impact Certification Program, sponsored by Architectural Testing.

Class 4 tiles are available in the Rocky Mountain, Heartland and Texas regions of the United States where storms and hail are prevalent and known to cause structural damage to homes. Homeowners may obtain potential insurance cost savings with Storm Series by selecting a participating insurance company and by requesting that their roofing contractor verify that Boral Roofing’s Class 4 concrete tile was installed. 

As a concrete tile roof, the Storm Series also provides energy efficiency benefits to homeowners. Concrete tile maintains the inner temperature of the home, reducing the need for heating and air conditioning. Energy cost savings up to 22% are achievable over the life of the roof.


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B.Elder says:
Jul-25-2012 04:20 pm

I've heard good things about
I've heard good things about the Boral Roofing Storm products. I like the energy saving attributes too.



Would you like to see the re-emergence of an association like the AHMA?