Stores will now be able to offer discounts to cash payers following a settlement between the government and credit card companies, according to this release from the National Retail Federation:"Allowing merchants to offer a discount for lower-cost forms of payment will begin to inject competition into the credit card market, a step that the card companies have resisted for far too long,” said NRF Senior Vice President Mallory Duncan. “Credit cards are still going to be welcome in retail stores, but consumers are going to flock to the cards that give them the biggest discount."
"Credit card 'swipe' fees have literally swiped billions of dollars out of the pockets of unknowing consumers for years," she said. "Consumers are fed up with credit card fees and this is a landmark step in beginning to bring these hidden fees under control. This is tremendously important in the effort to bring real competition and lower prices to this market."
Federal law allows retailers to give customers a discount for cash or credit, but card industry rules have made it difficult to do so in practice. Card companies have also blocked merchants from giving a discount to customers who use debit cards or who use lower-fee credit cards.That’s nice, but my guess is NRF doesn’t care much about the consumer and their pocketbook. They want their members to be able to encourage customers to use cash instead of credit cards, which cost the merchant a few percent of the purchase price. By giving customers a cash discount, store and customer cut out the credit card company and split the savings. Nice, but doesn’t it sound like we’re going backward in time.