On the strength of more consumers using their credit cards, MasterCard reported quarterly earnings that were up 23 percent, beating Wall Street’s expectations.
It’s official. There is an all-out legal war over interchange fees — those “swipe” fees that merchants pay banks based on rates and policies set by the giant credit card networks of Visa and MasterCard. The latest twist comes in the form of a new lawsuit filed by some of the biggest U.S. retailers.
Big Retail has come out in force against the pending $7.25 billion settlement between merchants and the credit-card network giants Visa and MasterCard over long-time allegations of price-fixing on so-called “swipe fees.”
U.S. consumers are doing better at reducing their credit card balances and paying on time, as the average total card debt per borrower is down to $4,878, according to TransUnion’s update for the first quarter of 2013.
The No. 2 largest payments credit-card processor MasterCard beat Wall Street estimates on first-quarter profit, as revenue rose less than expected but overall purchase volume was up 10 percent.
The latest move comes from MasterCard, the No. 2 payments network, which just announced MasterPass, a service that let’s you simply “click, tap or touch – online, in-store or anywhere.”
MasterCard’s fourth-quarter earnings topped Wall Street estimates with more consumers choosing plastic over cash, but the payments processing giant also warned of easing revenue growth this year from global economic slowdowns.
For now, U.S. consumers don’t have to worry about the big retail chains adding a surcharge for credit card purchases, despite a settlement with Visa, MasterCard and the banks that allow them to do so.
It has nothing to do with the fiscal cliff or any reform legislation, but retailers can charge you a “checkout fee” starting Sunday – a fee equal to what they pay to accept the card – typically 1.5 percent to 3 percent of the entire purchase.
It seems there were no limits on how many coupons a single customer could use. And there was no restriction at all on purchasing gift cards.