[clug] The 1st Internet Tax is here.

Alex Satrapa grail at goldweb.com.au
Thu Nov 13 22:37:12 GMT 2008

On 13/11/2008, at 21:30 , Seth Turnbull wrote:

> again my major concern was that the bankers have now deemed a  
> monthly surcharge (tax) for processing CC transactions. We have all  
> in our own way fought over the years to keep the Internet some what  
> free and to me this seems like the 1st accepted tax.

It's not a tax on the Internet. It's not a tax on e-commerce. It's an  
extra surcharge on credit card transactions.

Just do what every other retailer is doing as CC use costs skyrocket:  
add a 1% surcharge of your own to every order paid by credit card.

> I don't see how they will gain from this vs. simply making a pile of  
> money.


Yes, that's the business banks are in these days.

> Paying this Monthly fee will not give us anything like insurance or
> protection by the bank in the event of stolen data. We simply pay  
> them now.
> For what? Nothing in return vs. doing business with a CC.

Exactly. Now do what any sensible business would do and pass the cost  
directly on to the users paying by credit card.

Provide alternate payment methods such as BPay, Pay at Post, or even  
give users the option of printing out a payment slip and posting you a  
cheque or money order.

There are two businesses in my neighbourhood who no longer support  
credit card transactions.

> I'm rather frustrated by this and it's a little odd that this was  
> "passed"
> with out some same or input by the people. I get the impression this  
> is the
> Titan being a bully and making the lessors pay.

This is not a law. It is simply another cost that a service provider  
is imposing upon their customers (that's you, the retailer). You don't  
have to use credit cards as a payment mechanism.

It's a cost of doing business with a bank. So now you get to pass that  
cost on to your customers, and the usual way of doing that is to make  
a prominent entry on your invoice, "Credit Card Payment Surcharge".  
Make it enough to cover the cost of the monthy fees from the bank as  
well as your corporate liability insurance. Heck, write up a page on  
your site explaining the security measures you have to take to only  
get charged the amount you do by the bank. Eventually people will  
either complain to their banks, or stop using credit cards.

Until the banks come out with smart cards that can allow financial  
transactions without revealing key data, you might also find it's  
cheaper to use a third party payment processor.


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