I think there’s a general sense of agreement that the widespread use of credit cards has been a great blessing to the consumer economy. Not having to reach deeper into your wallet or purse to find an extra couple of dollars can make all the difference between making an impulse purchase and walking away. Using credit cards does more than merely increase the likelihood of buying something you desire—it also increases the number of things you will buy and, consequently, the amount of money you spend per shopping trip.
So on a purely theoretical basis, merchants should love credit cards. But many merchants hate them. Here’s why: Every time a merchant swipes a credit card, the credit card company takes a cut of the action. Until recently, the credit card companies had the leverage to set their fees at whatever level they wished. The advent of mobile technologies that allow practically any merchant—or any individual, for that matter—to take a credit card have created a new climate of competition and innovation. As a result, many merchants that in the past would have run away from the idea of accepting credit cards are now racing to embrace them.
Phillip M. Miller is Global Head of the Acquirer Knowledge Center at MasterCard. In essence, his role is helping the company expand the universe of merchants who accept MasterCard. From his perspective, mobile is definitely a good thing.
“Today, mobile ...