National Pay Cash Day
By Trish Shaffery, Coffee Mania
Did you know when you use your debit or credit card the merchant pays a fee to some obscure bank who happens to control their data capture machine? If you use your card as a debit and enter a pin number the bank gets a flat fee from the merchant for making it convenient for you to spend your money. If you use your card as a credit card and don’t enter a pin number that same bank gets a fee for you to swipe your card and a percentage of the sale from the merchant, once again making it convenient for you to spend your money. The rate can be anywhere from 2% to almost 6%. My machine doesn’t support debit cards so all the cards I accept run as credit. My fees include 20 cents every day I send the “money” to my checking account by settling out the machine, a fee to provide security so no one can hack into their machine and steal the credit card numbers, a fee to replace my machine in case it breaks, a fee to send a paper statement even though I have signed up to receive them online, a fee to swipe the gift cards I sell, hopefully to increase my business, plus a percentage of the value I add to the card, and a fee if the cards aren’t used . All these fees, including a fee to swipe each card plus the percentage of the sale, add up to 8% of my credit/debit card sales.
The banks are pushing the government to put a cap on the amount you can purchase with a debit card like $50 or $100. Will that fill your gas tank or your grocery cart? If you use your card as debit and purchase a $2500 piece of furniture the bank gets a flat fee of probably 35 to 40 cents. If you are forced to use it as a credit card because there is a cap on the amount you can spend as a debit card the bank will get a fee to swipe the card plus the 2 to 6 percent of the sale. The merchant just lost $50 to $150, depending on his discount rate. Now he is going to have to increase the price of that piece of furniture by that much just to make the same amount of money – not more money- as he was making before the cap.
As a small business owner, I am tired of government agencies trying to get into my pocket one way or another. There are new rules, new forms, and new taxes every time I turn around. If our economy is going to get better anytime soon, the government has to support the small businesses instead of the big banks, special interest groups, and crooked politicians.
I am proposing a National Pay Cash Day similar to the National Don’t Buy Gas Day. On Friday the 13th of May, I propose everyone put away their credit and debit cards and pay cash for everything.
Go to the ATM the day before and get enough cash for Friday. Pay your restaurant bill in cash and always tip your server in cash, buy gas with cash, and don’t use the ATM on Friday.
Remember, these are the same banks that have encouraged us to carry and use our debit cards so they can hire fewer employees and spend less money on paper and check processing.
We only have a few weeks to spread the word nationwide. Please help me by passing this on to everyone you know. I think the government should be figuring out how to balance the budget without breaking the backs of those of us doing the work instead of assisting big business make more money by taking it away from those of us doing the work.
Trish – Owner of Coffee Mania in Show Low, AZ