Business owners: “please stop using credit cards”

Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images
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Whenever someone uses a credit card to buy a scoop of mango ice cream at one of Victor Garcia’s shops in Texas, the financial system takes a bite.

Credit card fees gobbled up more than $25,000 of Garcia’s sales last year. He’s now posted signs at his two shops near Fort Worth urging customers to think twice before paying with plastic.

“Most are shocked,” Garcia says. “Half of them say, ‘Gosh, I have no cash. I wish I did.’ People don’t know. They just say, ‘Hey, I get points, so I’m going to use my card.'”

Retailers have long complained the so-called “swipe fees” they have to pay for accepting credit cards in the U.S. are much higher than those in Europe, where the fees are strictly regulated.

The grumbling has gotten louder since the pandemic, as more customers have switched from paying with cash to credit cards.

U.S. retailers now pay about $160 billion a year in swipe fees, according to the Merchants Payments Coalition, a group that is looking to reduce those fees. That total has increased more than 50% since 2020, says Doug Kantor, who serves on the coalition’s executive committee.


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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!