Last week a horrible thing happened. The new regulations on those artificial people, the banks, started to go into effect causing them to have to charge merchants 12 cents per debit card transaction instead of 45 cents! Immediately, the entire banking system began to collapse. People using debit cards would be accessed hundreds, I tell you hundreds of dollars in fees and damn it, we have to get a welfare check out to those artificial people, the banks, yesterday before they starve to death and the Hades with the mandatory drug test.. Ooops, I meant bailout check. The Federal Reserve immediately caved and gave them 24 cents per transaction lest the world come to an end and no one wants that.
Okay, let's leave Fantasy Bankland where the Banks, Wallstreet and the Federal Reserve live and enter Janice's Small Business Realityland where she pays through the nose for everything and every time she tells the bank the fees are killing her the answer is: tough gneugies. I think that is a threaded nail from the hardware department at Home Depot and they want me to buy that, too.
Let's follow a debit transaction in my store all the way through to your happy little bank account.
1. I swipe, because I can't afford to buy a keypad or have the basic amount needed to give you money back should you want $20.00, your card on the credit card machine I paid $698.00 after being forced to upgrade my equipment due to the new regulations on what can be printed on the receipt, something which incidentally is programed by the processing company electronically in about 5 milliseconds if they so desire. They don't. They make a profit selling these machines or leasing them which is an even better business.
2. My machine, which I PAID 698.00 for, dials the credit card processors' COMPUTER on the phone line I pay 125.00 a month for and their COMPUTER answers the phone, checks the balance in your account which is dynamically changing and propagating through the bank systems every couple of minutes and if it deems you have enough "money' sends a message back to the machine I paid 698.00 for which then prints a receipt on the SPECIAL PAPER I CAN ONLY BUY FROM THEM at 10 times the price of the paper I print the cash register receipts on plus postage and handling and you get to use MY PEN to sign the receipt which I must then securely store in the safe I paid 900.00 for, indefinitely.
3. At the end of the day, I key in a series of codes causing my 698.00 machine to total all the charges for the day, sort them into categories and dials, ON MY 125.00 a month PHONE LINE, the credit card processing company whose COMPUTER then takes all the information for a second time and prints on MY PAPER a receipt for the day which I have to store in MY SAFE for Goddess who knows how long but I expect the end of the world will come first.
4. At a certain time, the credit card processing company's COMPUTER batches all the charges for the day and calls the Bank's COMPUTER and transmits them to IT and IT subtracts the money from your account all in about half a second.
5. Should something go wrong and you not have enough money, aside from the world probably having ended because a debit card transaction is like taking cash out of your account, The bank COMPUTER on the next cycle informs the credit card processor's computer to remove that money from MY BANK ACCOUNT which it does electronically the next cycle on closing the machine out and prints me a nasty note on MY PAPER that X amount of money has just been removed from my account earlier that day.
6. Your bank's COMPUTER, now doing the happy dance, then charges you around 29.00 or more for the mistake at the merchant processing company because we all know it couldn't have made the mistake.
7. I pay for the whole transaction, all fees including those incurred charging back (snatching the money out of my account) and as a side note, I LOSE THE MERCHANDISE, TOO.
And to add insult to injury, since this last part can occur 5 - 7 working days later, not because it has to but just because, I can bounce checks in the mean time thinking I have the money in my account.
I also get a black mark on MY CREDIT HISTORY for accepting a bad Debit Card allowing them to raise my processing rates on the next renewal cycle or demand 10,000.00 or more as a deposit for processing THEIR credit cards.
Okay, how exactly does it cost a bank 45 cents to process a Debit Card transaction plus .0125 to 4% of the total amount of the transaction all paid by ME??? Come on all you little Tea Party Repugs, give me an answer. You loves the Federal Reserve and it's Banks and Corporations.
I take all the risk. I pay all the penalties. I lose the product. I pay for the equipment. I even pay for the phone line and the electricity. I have to manually do everything. My time is valuable. I THINK THEY SHOULD PAY ME TO TAKE THEIR DARNED CARDS. I know....tough gnuegies.