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Merchants wrong to force customers to spend more to use credit cards - Mastercard

Published:Tuesday | November 6, 2018 | 12:00 AMCarlene Davis/Gleaner Writer
Marcelo Tangioni, Mastercard's president for the Caribbean region.
Ray Merceron, Mastercard's country manager for the English and Dutch Caribbean.

Mastercard is stressing that restaurants and stores are wrong in forcing customers to spend a pre-determined amount of money before their credit or debit cards can be run.

In an interview with The Gleaner last week, the multinational financial services corporation said this practice is against their rules, and as such, should not be allowed.

"Our rules don't allow discrimination base on the type of payment or the amount of the payment, so we have built our eco-system in a way where it has to be convenient for everyone for all types of payments. It's not a practice we encourage because it discourages actually paying for your goods with your card, because there's an additional fee that's being attached to it," said country manager for the English and Dutch Caribbean, Ray Merceron.




Customers are usually told at point-of-sale machines that the reason for this practice is that the merchant will pay a cost if they run the card for less than a certain amount; however, Mastercard said that it has no fees directed directly towards the merchant or to the cardholder.

"That's a taboo that we have to break. When the banks priced the merchants for their service, it's usually a percentage of the transaction, so either the merchant doesn't know [the payment process] very well, because it fits a percentage, it doesn't make a difference if it's a $1 transaction or a $1,000 transaction. So either that is not very clear to the merchant or they are doing that to make you spend more money," added president for the Caribbean region, Marcelo Tangioni

This practice was also identified in other Caribbean countries such as The Bahamas. Customers are usually left with the feeling that their card is a barrier for them to conduct business, which Mastercard said is the opposite of what they stand for.

"It's not our charge, so the merchant's bank is the one that would set that," said Merceron.