Both consumers and merchants suffer – who could resist the dominance of Visa and Mastercard?

Interbank settlement system, which allows banks and other financial institutions that issue payment cards to charge retailers who accept customer payments, has angered many. Every year, retailers pocket as much as 138 billion dollars for such services. dollars, according to the State Retail Federation (a lobbying group), which is their biggest expense after employee salaries. And although buyers do not think about such a system in principle, because they may simply not know about it, they also suffer when the costs increase.

America is one of the major economies with the highest interchange fees, surpassing both Europe and China. Two companies benefit the most from this: Visa and Mastercard, which handle more than three-quarters of all payment card transactions in the country. This means that they can rightly be called the two most profitable companies in the world, their profit margin last year was 51% respectively. and 46 percent Let’s rank all businesses (discard only real estate investment trusts) from the S&P 500 by their net profit margins last year, five years ago, and ten years ago—only four are in the top 20 in all three cases. Two are financial information companies Intercontinental Exchange and CME Group. The remaining two? Yes, you guessed it: Mastercard and Visa.

At first glance, their positions appear unshakable.

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