A recent news item has popped up on one of my favorite topics, merchant credit card fees. Walmart Canada has announced that they will stop accepting VISA as a form of payment, with the phase-out to begin in mid-July in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
The debate over merchant fees is one that is frequently not well reported by the media, and often is nothing more than the media regurgitating some absurd clap-trap from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).
Often lost in the lackluster reporting is that the credit card companies like VISA and MasterCard generate their revenue from the merchant fees. Their SEC 10-k disclosures are clear, “Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for account holders on Visa-branded cards and payment products“. It is the bank or financial institution that issues the card that gets the credit card interest and other fees. The relevance of which will become apparent shortly.
As I have written previously, merchants receive benefits from paying merchant fees, something that is too often overlooked by the media, and groups like the CFIB purposely avoid mentioning. Continue reading