(ANTIMEDIA) — Visa recently announced its new Cashless Challenge program, which offers $10,000 to restaurants willing to transition into accepting only digital payments. As the largest credit card processor in the U.S., it’s no surprise Visa is spearheading this campaign. Under the guise of increasing transparency and efficiency, they’ve partnered with governments around the world to help convert financial systems into cashless models, but their real incentive is the billions of dollars in extra transaction fees it would generate.
“We are declaring war on cash,” Visa spokesman Andy Gerlt proudly proclaimed after the program was announced.
The food-based small businesses Visa is targeting are among those that benefit most from accepting cash from customers. When transactions are for amounts less than $10, the fees charged cut significantly into profits. Only 28% of food trucks currently accept credit card payments because of the huge losses they incur from them. The bribe from Visa may seem appealing up front but will be mostly paid back to them over the next few years in fees alone.
“For many businesses – both large and small – the cost of accepting plastic cards and other forms of electronic payments is one of their highest operating costs. Most business owners have no qualms about paying reasonable fees for business services, and they do so every day for items such as cleaning services, security systems, Wi-Fi, and other basic needs. However, they have the ability to negotiate for those services in a fair and transparent marketplace, which they do not with the two major credit and debit card networks….Credit card and debit card fees are dictated directly by Visa and MasterCard and are imposed on the majority of merchants in a take-it-or-leave-it fashion.
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