Originally published in Fortune
by Charlie Thaxton
Cashless retail is on the rise and has begun to concern some lawmakers. New Jersey recently banned the practice. Philadelphia has done the same. So far, the debates leading up to these laws have mostly centered on how cash-free establishments exclude unbanked citizens.
In a commentary piece for Fortune, ILSR researcher Charlie Thaxton details another major cost. Cashless retail — and credit cards in general — allow a handful of credit card monopolies and big banks to siphon billions of dollars from consumers and businesses through the swipe fees they charge merchants. These fees amounted to $79 billion last year.
Businesses, especially small ones, have little leverage to negotiate these fees, which average about 2 percent of a transaction. Refusing to accept Visa and Mastercard isn’t a viable option, either. READ MORE.