October 20, 2011

In Banks We Trust . . to keep coming up with new ways to steal our money.

Free checking is like a dinosaur with most banks these days, extinct. Even though my checks are perfectly plain, I think twice before I write one because it costs me $.17 for each check. 

Pity the poor banks who now have to"adjust our pricing to reflect today’s economics" as one was quoted saying in a newspaper article. Oh, but don't worry, if you keep a minimum balance of several thousand dollars to as low as $15, 000 on hand in some of the California banks - you won't be affected.

To quote another paper, "and with a new rule that just took affect that limits banks’ ability to make money from merchants, it also means paying for the privilege of swiping your debit card."

I expect momentarily for my bank, BB&T, to follow suit with the likes of Bank America, Wells Fargo, Citi, and a myriad of other State and local to join one of the greatest organized theft rings in the country, not to mention the world even though the French started (the trend) first.  Give me a break, please, how can you test charging banking customers for using there own money? A debit card is a direct route to a bank account isn't it. It's bad enough if you can't find one of your own bank's teller machine and use another bank - you are often charged twice for the transaction - by your bank and the teller machine's bank. 

Are we suppose to feel sorry for banks now because they can't over charge you for bouncing a check or screw the retailer with too high credit card processing fees. Wait a minute -  first what you are not being told is that banks have been continually devising new ways to take both consumers and retailers' money. 

Wait . . . You're the teller. I'm the customer!
No . . . I'm the teller. You're the customer!
I am both a consumer and a very small retailer and I am struggling to make a decision as not to take debit or credit cards in my shop, and to post a check or cash only sign. While this can and will hurt my business, my bank has been ruthless in slamming my account with fees. They have actually come up with a way to cover their perceived losses. One is called PCI DSS certification fee for the sheer pleasure of being compliant with your credit card machine. (excuse me - this the machine that  I had to purchase from their merchant department and who processes all my transactions - but I am the one being charged).Then there is a net work access fee (oh- I pay for the phone line). Then there is the discount due, the card pass through fee is still there, and won't know the difference until next month, but last month, they took a whopping 45% of my sales. This isn't all - I received a letter from my bank as to another new law advising me that they must hold 28% of my payment card transactions due to a new IRS law if I don't comply (but they can't tell me how I need to comply).. 

There's more to come and I imagine law makers in every state across the country jumping on Louisiana's band wagon. It seems the state just initiated a new law that bans cash for second hand transactions. This was posted on a Louisiana Eye Witness News: http://www.klfy.com/story/15717759/second-hand-dealer-law.

I hope you read the lame excuse that it's because the " bill is targeted at criminals who steal anything from copper to televisions, and sell them for a quick buck. Having a paper trail will make it easier for law enforcement."

Yeah - right on again. Just another new plan devising a way to get more of our money. The consumer has to pay with a debit or credit card; the shop owner must maintain a merchant account, and the credit card companies and banks will be happy again. 

I can't wait to hear what they come up with next - - - any bets?

Hmm - now that I think of the criminals are to blame for this new law - so does this mean that the merchant can only purchase goods with a credit card in order to resell an item, and the crooks must also have a credit/debit card machine? Huh - Did I miss something here?

Merchant: "Hi Mr Crook - Sure I'll buy it, but I can't give you cash. Do you accept Visa/Master Card/ American Express or debit card?"

Crook: "Certainly. I have a wireless machine. They're fab"

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