Editorial Policy

Merchants and Their Growing Credit Card Fees

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By Steven Gibbs
February 1, 2010

When it comes to the many changes that have taken place concerning credit cards, consumers are not the only ones getting hit hard. Just like the millions of consumers, merchants have seen dramatic changes as well. The difference, while cardholders are being charged more to use their plastic; retailers and merchants as a whole are being charged more to accept them.


Each time consumers use their credit cards, merchants must pay a portion of the purchases’ total to not only the merchant’s bank and the cardholder’s bank, but they must also pay the network that processes those transactions. While in past these have been a relatively small percent, these percentages have risen each year and now merchants are paying more then they think is justified. When it comes to numbers, merchants are seeing up to 2.95% of their totals being taken by fees while MasterCard takes up to 3.25%. Both of which are much higher than the percentages from a couple of years back.


In the long run while consumer do have it bad when it comes to new fees by credit card issuers, merchants are having an even tougher time deciding on whether it is really worth it to pass any fees over to the cardholder. On one side, they could continue to lose a little bit of revenue by not charging consumers more, but on the other they could lose the consumer altogether by raising the prices on goods that many people already perceive as high.