Our national cashless payment infrastructure is the most important entity in our economy for the convenience and security of all credit and debit card holders, as well as all retailers. All other considerations, such as credit card reward schemes, credit
card surcharges and interchange fees, detract from it and are secondary to it.
Both credit and debit card surcharges should be regulated and interchange fees should be made illegal on a national basis. This is so it may be for the benefit and convenience of all credit and debit card holders, as well as keeping these costs on all businesses
as low as possible, and for the promotion of our electronic payments system over cash payments.
Cash will have a limited life in our economy until it will eventually be phased out entirely in future. In a future cashless society, what would be the point of having interchange fees and credit card surcharges in the absence of cash payments?
Even if a national currency was digitised in future by any nation’s government and central bank, by making use of the security, integrity and efficiency of the block-chain, so that everyone can use a fee-less method of payment, there would still be a need
for minimising and regulating all credit card fees as well legally proscribing all interchange fees. Interchange fees that are imposed on businesses are a money grab by banks. These regulatory provisions would be for the common good of all who participate
in a future cashless society both as consumers and businesses.
Again, it is the national electronic payments system and all who participate in it that are the most important entities; not the free or regulated imposition of surcharges and interchange fees on consumers and businesses, which are imposed by rent seekers,
gate keepers and profit makers.
The amount of surcharges that credit card companies charge to businesses for accepting their card should be regulated nationally, with a view to making this global by some future instrumentality based on the distributed ledger. The point of limiting credit
card companies and banks to how much they can impose a surcharge to businesses is to ensure that this cost can be easily managed by businesses. The effect of which would be to make them insignificant and easily bearable to all businesses and not have them
passed onto any consumer credit card transaction. A regime such as this could be supervised by a number of independent statutory bodies that are usually found in most nation-states.
What the entire system of electronic, instantaneous, 24 -7, mobile, cashless payments needs, is the foresight, brilliance and generosity of another Sir Tim Burners-Lee. Berners-Lee founded the W3C located at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The
W3C was made up of a number of businesses that created standards to improve the quality of the Word Wide Web. Sir Tim Berners-Lee gave his idea away freely without any patent and without any royalties whatsoever. What a good man!