I was surprised the other day to be offered an AMEX card that for no additional fees offered me additional benefits, such as an economy return airfare each year. “How does this work?” I wondered.
Now I know.
I just received a letter from the Commonwealth Bank telling me that our merchant fees for taking payments by credit card are about to increase. This is said to be because of a change in the way that debit card transactions are processed, and to deal with the new “Super Premium” credit cards.
The increases sound relatively modest – 9 cents for a debit card per transaction, and 6 cents for cash out – until you consider that this is a 100% increase on what it costs at the moment.
Increases on Visa are 40% and Mastercard 36% for the premium cards.
I can’t see that there are any benefits to me as a merchant from the new cards, but I can see that there are benefits to the banks. So why should I be asked to pay for them?
One thing is for sure, I’ll be shopping around to see if one of the other banks is less greedy than the one that used to be called “the people’s bank”.