Business owners and merchants are up in arms in what they perceive as extremely prohibitive transaction charges that credit card companies impose on them. For every purchase made using a credit card, retailers are charged a percentage, normally around 2%-3% as transaction fees by credit issuers. For a lot of businessmen at the end of the day, it tallies as a big expense, sometimes a close second to their largest expense which is staff salaries. Gas retailers for example are complaining that in years when gas prices really shot up, card issuers made more money than them. They are now turning to Congress to help them ease this burden off of their shoulders. They are asking legislators to come up with bills that would put a cap on how much credit card companies charge retailers. In other countries such as Australia and much of Europe, where transaction charges are regulated, fees are six times lower than what US credit companies charge.
Some emphatic lawmakers promised to look into the issue of businessmen and conduct further study into the matter. Supporters of card transaction fees counter by saying that credit cards are actually very beneficial to businesses. It has quoted reports that small business revenues go up by as high as 50% once credit card payment is introduced. By accepting credit cards, establishments can enjoy higher sales as people who are not able to bring sufficient cash with them can still purchase what they need. They argued that in the bigger picture, businesses have benefitted tremendously ever since credit cards became a standard payment method.
Supporters also added that merchants have the freedom to choose the best deals for them with regard to credit card fees and can actually negotiate with companies for better rates. Businessmen believe otherwise, saying that the US credit card industry is controlled by just three companies, VISA, MasterCard, and American Express, and that any attempts to air grievances with them would just fall on deaf ears. The odds of walking away with a lower fee are slim to nil according to merchants. Major credit companies are fully aware of their clout and that they have business enterprises at their mercy. In essence, businessmen do not have the power and influence to negotiate for better transaction fee deals.
Merchants have not lost heart in their battle for just charges, and are now planning to collaborate with consumers to help them in their signature campaign against what they perceive as "abusive" credit card companies. They would also gather more supporters in Congress by constantly seeking for legislators who are sympathetic to their plight.