Gas Prices Driven Up 7 Cents Per Gallon by Swipe Fees

Ten months after the American retailers won a lobbying victory on Capitol
Hill against debit card swipe fees, a trade group representing convenience
stores is pushing for the government to crack down on similar fees for
credit cards.

According to a new report from the National Association of
Convenience Stores, swipe fees were adding roughly 7 cents per gallon to
the price of gas at the beginning of April, with credit card swipe fees alone
costing convenience stores $11.1 billion in 2011.

Although financial speculation in the oil futures markets receives far more attention, swipe
fees also serve as a way for Wall Street to profit from consumer pain at
the pump.

In return for the privilege of accepting plastic, banks charge
retailers a fee for every card swipe. On credit cards, that fee is a
percentage of the total price tag of each purchase.

So the more a
customer spends on gas, the higher the fee charged to retailers.
Retailers pass these costs on to consumers in the form of higher prices.
Story by Zach Carter for the Huffington Post.

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