It is time that credit card companies faced some real competition…

From an AP story about gas station owners who are refusing to accept credit cards (h/t Crunchy Con)….

His complaints target the so-called interchange fee — a percentage of the sale price paid to credit card companies on every transaction. The percentage is fixed — usually at just under 2 percent — but the dollar amount of the fee rises with the price of the goods or services.

As gas tops $4 a gallon, that pushes fees toward 10 cents a gallon. Now stations, which typically mark up gasoline by 11 to 12 cents a gallon, are seeing profits shrink or even reverse.

I don’t understand why credit card companies charge a percentage of all sales instead of a flat fee. Does it really cost them more money to process a transaction for $4 then $100?

There are real benefits to both the gas station owners and the customers to be able to pay at the pump. When you pay at the pump the gas station has less labor costs because you never have to deal with a live person. Furthermore, they don’t have to face the risk that you will drive off with out paying for your gas. For customer the benefits are even more numerous.

So I think gas stations should band to together and mandate the use of their own card instead of refusing to accept them all together. The bigger convenience store chains already have their own card so it should not be too hard for them to tell the credit card companies to shove it.

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