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Visa and Mastercard Rate Hikes Are Coming! Heres How to Avoid Them

Updated: Sep 1, 2023




Based on an article published by Reuters on August 30, 2023.


In the evolving landscape of financial services, changes in pricing models by industry giants can have ripple effects on the smaller players. The recent announcement by Visa and Mastercard to hike their credit card fees, as reported by The Wall Street Journal and later detailed by Reuters, has stirred concerns among merchants worldwide. Faced with potential revenue hits due to these increased fees, merchants are seeking alternatives to keep their businesses running optimally. Enter cash discounting and dual pricing – two methodologies that could emerge as lifesavers for many.


Understanding the Fee Hikes

First, it's essential to understand the context. Credit card companies, including Visa and Mastercard, usually charge merchants a fee for processing payments. These fees are typically absorbed by the merchant and occasionally passed on to the customer in various forms. The recent hikes, however, might compel merchants to reconsider their strategies to ensure they remain profitable.


The Beauty of Cash Discounting

One of the most direct methods to combat these increased fees is cash discounting. In essence, it means providing consumers a discount when they opt to pay with cash instead of a credit card. Here's why this method can be advantageous:


  1. Economic Incentive for Customers: A cash discount acts as a tangible incentive for customers to use cash, a win-win for both parties. Customers save money, and merchants avoid the credit card processing fee.

  2. Simplicity: There's no need for complex pricing structures. Merchants merely offer a reduced price for cash payments.

  3. Reduced Dependence on Credit Card Transactions: Over time, as more customers opt for cash to avail of the discount, the volume of credit card transactions, and consequently the fees paid by merchants, will likely decrease.


Avoid Visa and Mastercard Rate Hikes with Dual Pricing

Another strategy that's gaining traction is dual pricing. This method involves setting two distinct prices for a product or service: one for cash payments and another for credit card payments.


  1. Transparency: Dual pricing ensures total transparency. Customers are aware of the price differences upfront and can make informed choices based on their preferred payment method.

  2. Flexibility: It gives merchants the flexibility to absorb some of the credit card fees and pass on only a portion to the customer. This approach can be more palatable to customers who feel averse to bearing the full brunt of the fee hike.

  3. Controlled Profit Margins: By adjusting the two prices appropriately, merchants can ensure that their profit margins remain consistent regardless of the payment method chosen by the customer.


Navigating the Regulatory Landscape

While cash discounting and dual pricing offer promising solutions, merchants should be mindful of the regulatory landscape in their respective regions. In some places, laws may restrict or regulate such practices. It's crucial to seek legal counsel or guidance to ensure compliance.


In light of the Visa and Mastercard rate hikes, it's imperative for merchants to think forward to safeguard their interests. Cash discounting and dual pricing emerge as viable strategies to navigate this new financial terrain. By adopting such practices and keeping an ear to the ground for regulatory updates, merchants can weather the storm of increasing fees and continue to serve their customers effectively.


Reach out to sales@hellovivid.com to get a free terminal with Cash Discount or Dual Pricing.

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