Financial Institutions joining the 21st Century (or not)
July 16, 2012
Glory be – the water company has finally launched a (gasp) website!!
We can view or pay our bills online by check or credit card, in real-time (!) though they may charge a fee for the privilege of paying the bill. They’re seriously considering charging for the privilege of AutoPay!
They’ve taken so long to implement these electronic services that they have managed to get on the carousel right when the rest of the world is starting to take a step backward to a time where using credit cards may cost money.
I was most displeased to read this article in the Wall Street Journal where, as a result of this settlement, merchants are now allowed to charge customers who use credit cards more as an offset to the interchange fees imposed by Visa and Mastercard. (Discover and American Express charge as well but weren’t part of the suit.)
Whether they will actually charge more remains to be seen – smaller merchants represented say they won’t lead the price increases, likely because they don’t want to anger their customers but I know some merchants already do offer tiered pricing with discounts for their cash customers and that’s probably the model that will continue.
That’s a huge pain, I hate carrying cash but if cards will cost more than I’m simply going to change how I pay for things.
In other news, we’ve closed one of PiC’s accounts with a credit union where they were charging him $8 a month for paperless statements. Unbelievable temerity. It saves paper, time and cost, and yet they’re charging serious money per month. Thank you and we’ll be taking our business elsewhere.