PURCHASE, N. Y. -- MasterCard International has fired a significant shot in the interchange wars by releasing a paper that argues in favor of credit/debit card interchange as a benefit to all the parties that use the card payments system.
The paper, "Benefits of Open Payment Systems and the Role of Interchange," underscores the enormous benefits delivered by electronic payments, which have become so ingrained in everyday life they are often taken for granted or misunderstood. Few people ever stop to consider the complex and sophisticated system that allows transactions to occur within seconds, almost anywhere in the world, the card brand said.
"Perhaps the easiest way to grasp the value of electronic payments is to envision a world without them. Clearly, if electronic payments came to a sudden halt, many facets of commerce-travel, trade and the Internet just to name a few-would face dire consequences," MasterCard President/CEO Robert Selander wrote in the paper's introduction.
The paper also discusses the role of interchange-a relatively small fee ultimately paid by merchants for the benefits of card acceptance. Interchange is critical to ensuring the system provides maximum benefits to all participants, including consumers and merchants in a fiercely competitive marketplace.