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Credit Card Swipe Fees Begin Sunday In USA

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the nickled-and-dimed dept.

Businesses 732

An anonymous reader writes "A speedbump on the road to a cash-free economy will go into effect Sunday in the U.S., as retailers in 40 states will have the option of passing along a surcharge to customers who pay with credit cards. The so-called swipe fees arose from the settlement of a seven-year lawsuit filed by retailers against Visa, Mastercard, and big banks, who collect an electronic processing fee averaging 1.5 to 3 percent on transactions involving credit cards. The banks naturally have opposed the consumer surcharges, preferring that the extra costs to be passed along in the form of higher prices. Consumers in ten states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, Texas) won't be affected, since laws in those states forbid the practice (it seems that gasoline station owners here in Massachusetts got a different memo, though). Also, the surcharges won't be collected for debit or prepaid cards."

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732 comments

I'm curious to see how many retailers actually use (5, Interesting)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701113)

I wouldn't think twice about having the clerk go, "there's a surcharge for credit", to which I'd respond, "OK, thanks anyway." and leave.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (5, Insightful)

satuon (1822492) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701149)

What if their prices are lower than other retailers' with just the amount of the surcharge?

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (4, Interesting)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701187)

Well, realistically, I'd probably not have gone in the store in the first place if they implemented it, because I'd have hopefully done my homework.

That said, I think it would be important that store owners have a chance to hear their employees go, "yea, I had to put 3x as much stuff back on the shelf today because people keep saying no thanks when they try and charge items to their credit cards".

Other than groceries, I do very little shopping in-store now anyway -- I do most of my shopping online.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701271)

What if their prices are lower than other retailers' with just the amount of the surcharge?

I'd go to that other retailer, who is not attempting to discourage the use of the card.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (5, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701471)

The other retailer is not discouraging the use of the card, he's just no longer subsidizing your costs by adding it to everyone's price.

If I, a cash customer, can stop paying your fees, I'll happily shop at the retailer you boycott.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (2, Informative)

schnell (163007) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701505)

The whole thing is just a scare story anyway, only a few retailers are ever likely to exercise this ability anyway (just like few gas stations charge different prices anymore for cash vs. credit, not even Arco). From NBC news [nbcnews.com] :

The big question is: Will any stores do this? Should you worry about paying a credit card surcharge?

"We have discussed the settlement with many, many merchants, and not a single merchant we have spoken to plans to surcharge," Craig Sherman, spokesman for the National Retail Federation (NRF), said in a statement. The NRF was not involved in the class action lawsuit.

NBC News contacted some of the country's largest retailers. Wal-Mart, Target, Sears and Home Depot said they have no plans to add a credit card surcharge.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (3, Insightful)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701559)

The other retailer is not discouraging the use of the card, he's just no longer subsidizing your costs by adding it to everyone's price.

If I, a cash customer, can stop paying your fees, I'll happily shop at the retailer you boycott.

Except it won't work out that way. You will still be paying the same price you've always paid (including the baked in fee) and the retailers that implement it will be getting an extra influx from the fees they charge to CC users.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (2, Insightful)

ZorroXXX (610877) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701569)

If I, a cash customer, can stop paying your fees, I'll happily shop at the retailer you boycott.

I wholeheartedly agree. Putting the cost on the card users is the right way.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701535)

What if their prices are lower than other retailers' with just the amount of the surcharge?

That might be interesting, but black Friday sales aside most retailers sell products at the same prices as other retailers. You have stores like Walmart that sell cheaper versions of similar products for less; but typically not the same products.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (5, Insightful)

p0p0 (1841106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701167)

Doesn't matter. Working in retail I learned that individual customers are very much unimportant. Just because you come in every week and buy a couple things doesn't make you a valued customer and your business will not be missed. The majority of people will not care and will continue doing what they have been doing for years. Don't kid yourself in thinking your storming off will teach anyone a lesson. The clerk does not care (and they never do), the store does not miss your purchase, and the next customer moves ahead in line that much faster. Most often the clerk will joke about you with their colleagues about that guy who couldn't afford the fee and he got mad and left. Made us put his items away too. What a prick.

Carry cash or use a debit card. Might as well make it easier for yourself than anyone else.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (5, Interesting)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701211)

Actually, when the store owner has to start paying his employees more money to put shit back on the shelf, he may start rethinking if that money on the credit card fees is more worthwhile.

I use a credit card for two reasons.
A) If someone swipes/steals that information, they're stealing VISA's money, not mine. If I use a debit card and they steal my info, they drain my bank account, my mortgage bounces. That's bad.
B) Rewards programs. I get thousands of dollars a year in rewards. I put /everything/ on my credit card. Only thing I don't is my mortgage and that's just because I can't. I pay it off every month. Companies that are going to make this less advantageous for me are going to get less of my business.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701325)

I get thousands of dollars a year in rewards.

Interesting... you get free money, and wonder why there may be fees now?

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (2)

agbinfo (186523) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701349)

I use a credit card for two reasons.
A) If someone swipes/steals that information, they're stealing VISA's money, not mine. If I use a debit card and they steal my info, they drain my bank account, my mortgage bounces. That's bad.
B) Rewards programs. I get thousands of dollars a year in rewards. I put /everything/ on my credit card. Only thing I don't is my mortgage and that's just because I can't. I pay it off every month. Companies that are going to make this less advantageous for me are going to get less of my business.

If you think these benefits are worth it, why should others who don't benefit share the cost?

I prefer to pay by credit card as well. It allows me to differ the payment and to get reward points. The problem is that it's not free. People that don't pay by credit card shouldn't be forced to pay as well - unless that's the store's policy. In that case people who insist on paying with a credit card will be free to find a better deal elsewhere.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701371)

Yeah, and guess where all that rewards money comes from.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701455)

There's no reason it can't come from the people who don't pay it off at the end of every month. The whole point of the "no fees or interest if you pay it off each month" is to get normally responsible people to get the cards and then get into a situation where they might decide to use the loan aspect some months.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (2)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701561)

There's no reason it can't come from the people who don't pay it off at the end of every month.

There's no reason it can't come from the generosity of the Grey aliens, sharing the bounty of their far-reaching interstellar empire with us. This is classic free lunch thinking here.

Your contract with the credit card companies didn't include specifying where your "reward money" comes from. Hence, it comes from the greatly expanded fees the credit card company charges on your transactions which from the credit card company's point of view is the logical choice. They'll just drop the rewards system gimmick altogether, if they can't continue to hide transaction fees from you.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (4, Informative)

Alex Pennace (27488) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701433)

If someone swipes/steals [my credit card] information, they're stealing VISA's money, not mine. If I use a debit card and they steal my info, they drain my bank account, my mortgage bounces. That's bad.

It isn't true that Visa eats the cost of fraud in most cases. When you want to reverse a charge, your bank and Visa/Mastercard happily oblige because they usually yank the money straight out of the merchant's account.

You are right that the cardholder has much more leverage to reverse bad charges on a credit card versus debit. After I had left GoDaddy, they made the mistake of hitting my debit account for one more charge. Reasoning with GoDaddy didn't work, so I filed a chargeback through Sovereign Bank. Long story short, Sovereign proved to be completely unable to handle it, and I didn't have the leverage of saying I wasn't going to pay the disputed amount.

Now, nothing has direct withdrawal rights to my money. No entity should have my debit card on file, nor any prior approval for ACH withdrawals. If they want to charge me every month, they do it on the credit card, or I can pay them via bill pay or (occasionally) check. I am aware that a sufficiently determined company can still get access to my checking account, but at least in that circumstance I can expect to be made whole in the end.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (2)

Nimey (114278) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701507)

You've never worked in retail, or you'd know that employees have to put stuff back on the shelves /all the time/. I worked in a grocery store many years ago and we had to put a full cart's worth of stuff back at least once a day - they were either dropped off at checkout ("I don't want this") or haphazardly shoved onto the wrong shelf when someone changed their mind & was too lazy to put it back themselves.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (1)

gary_7vn (1193821) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701539)

So open another account, drop say $200 into it and use that card.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701215)

write a paper check :)

slow down the whole line, extra expense for the retailer.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701361)

Doesn't matter. Working in retail I learned that individual customers are very much unimportant.

Maybe where you work, not the case where I work. ANYONE who complains is contacted and almost everything is done to make things right and fair for all. I'll bet where you work retail your price point is your only "feature" and everything else about your store sucked, the exact kind of place I avoid because of things like this..

People of Walmart [youtube.com]

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (1)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701395)

I've worked in retail too. I did it for 10 years.

You suck at it. Your attitude sucks.

--
BMO

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701405)

Made us put his items away too. What a prick.

You're the prick in this situation. You are paid to serve
the customer, and do it with a smile on your face.

I don't know what you do for money now, but I suspect
it has to do with sucking cock.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701443)

I also worked in retail and strongly disagree with the above statement. Individual customers are important, the entire customer base is made up of individuals. If something is ticking off some of them and they are telling you about it, then chances are there are more who are ticked off and just stopped coming to the store. A wise retailer constantly takes the pulse of their customers and tries to keep them happy. losing one here, another there eventually adds up.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701457)

Thats why you work in retail and don't OWN a retail store. The owner knows that every individual customer is very important, and everyone that stops shopping at their store is money out of their pocket.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701171)

I wouldn't think twice about having the clerk go, "there's a surcharge for credit", to which I'd respond, "OK, thanks anyway." and leave.

For physical goods maybe. But would you be willing to walk away from an established relationship with your mechanic, massage therapist, or barber if they institute a fee?

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (1)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701231)

There's a lot more to be considered, surely. But my visits to Best Buy/Target/whatever would probably be altered.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (1)

cuncator (906265) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701229)

Maybe they're trying to prop up the US Treasury's minting operation by making cash more attractive. It will be interesting to see whether people start carrying more cash or simply avoid retailers with the added surcharge.

After RTFA, it seems like yet another hurdle for smaller businesses as the "big box" stores with higher profit margins are better able to absorb the processing fees. For example, I work for a nonprofit that handles a fair amount of credit card transactions and it's positively sickening how much processing fees cost the company.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701291)

And to be honest, the clerk won't really give a shit what your smug ass says or does.

Re:I'm curious to see how many retailers actually (4, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701403)

You do know you've been paying that fee all along don't you? It is the transaction fee the credit card charges the merchant. All this is is that they won a lawsuit invalidating the contract term that forced them to hide the fee in the form of higher prices for everyone (including cash customers).

If you don't like the fee,, tell the credit card company "no, thank you", they're the ones charging it.

Not really a speedbump (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701133)

We already were paying the surcharge, this just shows the customers how much the credit card double dipping is actually costing them.

If anything, I'd say this is the beginning of a removal of a speedbump towards a cash free economy, as enough pressure on the credit card companies and banks might force them to revise their greedy, merchant-punishing policies.

(Double dipping because they charge you both at the purchase, and then they charge their incredible interest rates on anyone who doesn't pay their bills in full each month. Merchant-punishing because of their policies regarding chargebacks for fraud and other such things that hit the merchants, while the banks refuse to accept responsibility)

Re:Not really a speedbump (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701213)

But nearly all of those fees are given back to the cardholder in the form of cash back or whatever other rewards program they use. The system is designed to force people to pay with credit, by making merchants charge extra, and then refunding those who used credit cards.

This could go two ways: either the merchants will lower their prices now that they don't have to cover the credit card fees, in which case this is good for debit card and cash users, and neutral for credit card users. Or the merchants will take this as a windfall, thus screwing over credit card users, and not helping anyone. Neither one has much impact on whether or not we reach a cash-free economy, IMO. Only whether that cash free economy is driven by credit or debit cards.

Re:Not really a speedbump (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701373)

Forcing merchants to drive up their prices so that anyone using a credit card can receive their 2% cash back (Or other rewards) is not acceptable either, I'm not interested in covering the cost of your credit card perks when I pay almost entirely with debit.

That's still a dirty business practice by the credit card companies, and pushing the extra costs into the open is only a good thing.

Granted, businesses may take the chance to not lower prices and just take a windfall of cash in the short term, but longer term the ones that want to be more competitive will likely end up using this to actually offer lower prices than they currently can.

Re:Not really a speedbump (2)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701459)

And that's exactly why the whole thing was a scam that needed to stop. Why should cash paying customers help foot the bill for your cash back?

Re:Not really a speedbump (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701571)

They share the profits they scam off the non credit card users ... they don't give it back, they allow you to collaborate in the scam.

Re:Not really a speedbump (1)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701263)

If we could count on the retailer to lower their prices to remove the inflation of the surcharge, it'd be a different story, but you know as well as I do that won't happen.

For quite some time, I used to offer companies with whom I'd developed a long standing relationship on the Internet a cheque or US money order to pay for goods so there'd be no Paypal/credit card fees in exchange for a better price. (I'd have even split the difference on the fees).

Every one of them were like, "No, that's the price."

I stopped trying.

Re:Not really a speedbump (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701489)

That's because their contract with the credit companies forbade them from passing the surcharge on even in the form of a discount for non credit card transactions. Meanwhile, if they weren't brick and mortar operations the extra hassle of one-off processing of your payment by check might outweigh the benefit of not paying the transaction fee.

What's the cost for Cash? (4, Interesting)

Art Challenor (2621733) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701137)

I wonder what it costs retailers to deal with cash? You have to count it, keep it secure, deposit it, etc. etc. More or less than the percentage for electronic transactions?

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (1)

Rookie11 (733846) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701153)

In addition, loosing the ability to track repeat customer's purchases.

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701199)

Given that in most places, cash is faster than credit, I'd go with "negative" in this comparison. Oh yeah, they actually get paid when the transaction occurs, as opposed to getting paid a few days later.

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (2)

nanoflower (1077145) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701281)

Hmm, that's not been my experience. For instance at my local grocery store they have two policies in place for credit cards. For bills under $25 you swipe your card through the automatic card reader, choose credit and then it is authorized. The bill then prints out and you go on your way. For bills that are $25 and up the bill is printed out and you sign it and then go on your way. Neither process takes as long as cash, especially if there is change involved as often the cashier has to open up another change packet or on occasion go get change.

Checks can take much longer but credit is quite fast. The same applies with buying gas where you can run your credit card outside at the machine and choose if you want a receipt or not. That's it for credit. For cash you have to go inside before or after the purchase, stand in line and then pay the cashier your money and possibly wait for him/her to give you change. I can pay for my gas in about 30 seconds with credit but it will take a minute or more (depending on if there is a line) to pay with cash.

So I think the only case where credit is slower is where they have to run your credit card through one of those swipe machines that imprints the card image through the carbon paper and then have you sign it. That can certainly take longer but seems to be more common at places that don't get as much business.

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (2)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701445)

Faster depends how much change has to be counted out (either by the customer or the clerk, sometimes both), how fast the card processing terminal and the network it uses is and of course the individual customer. Cash transactions can be painfully slow.

Then there is the risk of the cash being lost or stolen, the hassle of getting it to the bank, the additional risk of errors (miscounting, over changing customers, or under changing and being caught out), the risk of fake currency, the cost of getting change (yes banks impose a surcharge when they deliver big bags of small change to retailers).

Also while you actually get paid immediately, that cash isn't earning you anything while its sat in the store, it's actually just a liability because the more cash you have in the store - the more attractive a target you are for theft. You need to get the cash to the bank, and depending on the size of your operation the cash collection may not occur daily, or you may have to take the cash to the bank yourself which could also be dangerous.

Personally i avoid paying with cash simply because it costs the same. If paying by cash was sufficiently cheaper that it was beneficial to do so i would. Other people however have more trouble managing their money, and might be severely inconvenienced by having to pay cash.

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701555)

Given that in most places, cash is faster than credit, I'd go with "negative" in this comparison. Oh yeah, they actually get paid when the transaction occurs, as opposed to getting paid a few days later.

If you think cash is faster than a card, then my guess is you're over 50. I see a lot of older folks fumble around with the machine, but for people who still have most of their faculties and grew up around even a modest amount of technology, the card reader takes 6 or 7 seconds to use. There's no change to count out (which is a practice done usually by both the customer and the cashier), nor bills to get back into your wallet. Just swipe and be on your way.

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (1)

John3 (85454) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701221)

We use a loyalty program to track customers, not their bankcards, so cash or credit card makes no difference from that aspect. I'd say most retailers do very little tracking via the bankcard numbers since they would be exposed to PCI issues if they stored the data and it was hacked. However, at the Mastercard/Visa level they definitely are tracking consumer buying patterns and even selling that aggregate data back to retailers.

John

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (0)

smellotron (1039250) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701347)

I'd say most retailers do very little tracking via the bankcard numbers since they would be exposed to PCI issues if they stored the data and it was hacked.

It's pretty easy to salt + hash every card number and then just track the hashes. In fact, because this type of tracking is imprecise to begin with, there's probably some trade-offs that can be made which improve security (make reversal or brute-forcing harder) at the low low cost of increased hash collisions.

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (1)

Iceykitsune (1059892) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701247)

What do you think those rewards cards are for?

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701311)

Dear Sir,
      Please learn the difference between "loosing" and "losing". I'll help. "Loosing" is not a word.

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701389)

"Loosing" is a word.

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701423)

Dear Sir,

      Please learn the difference between "loosing" and "losing". I'll help. "Loosing" is not a word.

A Public Service Dismemberment [queenofwands.net]

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701243)

Dealing with cash is less than 0.005% for most retailers. Further, they are already dealing with it today.
The 2-4.5% charged by credit cards is atrocious - on the verge of theft. As CC use expanded, the fees should have dropped. That hasn't happened because it takes a new CC huge infrastructure investments to be useful. Just look at Discover Card - basically, nobody uses it outside the USA and never will. I had one for a few years, but canceled it since it didn't work many places.

I'm thinking about all the CC cash-back and rewards users. Will they keep routing every expense possible through for 3% more or will they switch to cash, like I will, at places where there is a clear price difference?

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701413)

discover works in china, buddy. in fact in many places it's the ONLY US card that will work in china.

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (4, Interesting)

John3 (85454) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701261)

Believe it or not, in addition to the internal handling costs for a retailer to count cash there are bank fees. Most commercial banks actually charge businesses a fee to accept cash deposits. Yes, when I make a deposit of cash to the bank they charge my business a fee to count that cash and put it into their vault. In addition I must pay for change (rolled coin, singles, fives, and tens) and keep a stock of change in my business safe. We really love it when a customer pays by debit and gets cash back at the same time...less cash for us to handle at the end of the day.

Cash also attracts thieves, hence the traditional targets for holdups are convenience stores and smaller businesses that don't do much (if any) credit card business. Years ago liquor stores didn't accept credit cards (might have been a law prohibiting it in NY, not sure) and they were always targets for late night armed robberies.

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701549)

That may be offset by cash not being subject to chargebacks when someone goes on a shopping spree on a stolen card.

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (1)

Let's All Be Chinese (2654985) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701277)

The thing that's even more often overlooked is the cost to the customer.

To the customer, the very clear, limited, and well-understood risks of handling cash easily outweigh the purported "safety", mainly through obscuring the added complexity and resulting brittleness not to mention increased exposure of electronic alternatives, that for some reason also share the property they're very much not anonymous. But since you only see that trail of time+payer+payee+place+amount much later, ah, it's not a problem, right?

Or maybe it's just that the risk of getting relieved of a day's worth of cash is worth whatever you can get away with pushing off on the customer in terms of fees and privacy risks and whatnot. As long as the customer doesn't notice, it's not a problem, right?

I don't know the size of the costs to each, but if you're going to investigate, do paint a full picture of each, including such things as having to sit on payment records for N years and the risk of losing them (a lost backup tape will do) and resulting fines and tarnished reputation due to having to announce you lost people's details and things like that. Those are usually overlooked, for some reason.

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701543)

In the US, manual labor is FAR more expensive than electronic transactions and the security measures around it.

If you did do an investigation, you will see that, in general, the cost of doing business with credit cards is far less than cash. The additional manual labor involved simply out weights the other cost categories.

As for all of the mishaps that happened in handling secure data, they probably don't even make up 0.001% of the pie.

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701321)

Judging by the fact that retailers typically offer cash/debit discounts where they're legally allowed to do so, it must cost them less, or there would be no reason to try to incentivize people away from credit cards.

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (1)

Nimey (114278) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701517)

It's possible they just haven't analyzed the cost for cash because that analysis is a harder problem than the straightforward percentage for a credit purchase.

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701339)

I hate dealing with cash. I have to go to an ATM or if I have change then I have to go wait in line at a branch. For regular customers I've started taking checks. Why? Because I can deposit them via my phone into the bank and not pay any fees.

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (1)

agbinfo (186523) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701415)

I wonder what it costs retailers to deal with cash? You have to count it, keep it secure, deposit it, etc. etc. More or less than the percentage for electronic transactions?

The alternative is not necessarily paper money. There are many people who pay with debit cards and these provide all the benefits you alluded to without the equivalent surcharge.

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (2)

Wowsers (1151731) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701463)

Let's see. With cash, it's in your hand. In the digital world, you could have a certain company beginning with P (who think they are a bank but aren't) who decides that it doesn't like your haircut, then suspends your account without notice so the money you need for your business is now frozen. You might get it back some day, who knows when.

If you don't want to take cash in store, don't cry when a card company stops payments and your cash flow freezes up. Litigate for the money? After your business has collapsed?

Cashless will never happen, although it's many governments wet dream as it will be able to track everything you spend your money on, and that's what they want.

Re:What's the cost for Cash? (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701509)

On the other hand, it doesn't evaporate in the drawer like a credit transaction can.

Oh dear! Oh dear! (4, Insightful)

Let's All Be Chinese (2654985) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701143)

Credit card companies want to have their fees hidden, rather they'd have everyone else too pay for the fees they charge retailers of their lucky convenience-furnished customers. And that they no longer can? Honesty in retail, surely a big speedbump, yes.

A speedbump on the road to a cash-free economy [...]

And that's an issue, because everyone wants cash-free, Shirley. Because, uhm, cash doesn't carry your name and isn't subject to chargebacks, hallmarks of, er, what exactly?

Re:Oh dear! Oh dear! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701393)

Credit card companies want to have their fees hidden, rather they'd have everyone else too pay for the fees they charge retailers of their lucky convenience-furnished customers. And that they no longer can? Honesty in retail, surely a big speedbump, yes.

A speedbump on the road to a cash-free economy [...]

And that's an issue, because everyone wants cash-free, Shirley. Because, uhm, cash doesn't carry your name and isn't subject to chargebacks, hallmarks of, er, what exactly?

And that's different from governments that hide the true cost of their taxes by using "withholding", and even calling taxes paid on the amount of your paycheck an "employer's share" so you never even see it?

This is good news. Actually. (4, Informative)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701155)

I think credit card companies charging 2 to 3% fees from the retailers for credit card transactions is fair, I think. They advance unsecured loans and assume the liability. But what is so unfair is these banks charge the retailers the same fees even when the buyers use debit card. This is practically cash, and there is no risk of default. The only cost to the banks is cost of collection and fund transfer. That is pennies at most. But still the banks converted the debit cards through credit card processing systems and charged the retailers this unreasonable fees. When there is no difference in cost most consumers scratch a signature on the Point of Sale terminals rather than punching in their 4 digit PIN.

With this change, the retailers are going to give a 1 or 2% discount for people who use pin instead of signatures. Or even if they retain the savings themselves I would like the profit to go to my local retailer, not the too-big-to-jail banksters.

Re:This is good news. Actually. (1)

mcelrath (8027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701359)

And worse, with PIN transactions, the account holder assumes the risk of fraud, which is large, and the fault of banks creating a ridiculous transaction system based on a set of "secret" numbers (printed on the card).

I hope this will lead to the rise of new, more secure transaction systems, and competition over fees, rather than the collusion that is occurring now. It was eye-opening to live in Europe, and see the SEPA system over there. You can send money securely to any person or business, instantaneously. Over in the US you generally cannot send money to other people (some banks allow ACH now, but that is often TWO way, and your money is in limbo for 3-5 days while the Clearing House makes interest on it). Frankly, I think the US constitution's requirement that the government issue currency means that the government needs to get involved and fix/regulate a secure transaction system, to lubricate the economy. Let's just join the SWIFT/BIC system. It works.

Re:This is good news. Actually. (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701367)

Well, that sounds nice. But the fact is, they don't assume liability. When someone uses a credit card fraudulently and the owner discovers this and refuses the charges the merchant gets hit with a chargeback. So no, they don't deserve the money they get.

Re:This is good news. Actually. (2, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701465)

2% for a few days? 2% for a week's float works out to a 180% interest rate. At what point do they stop being a credit card, and start being a loan shark?

Re:This is good news. Actually. (1)

smellotron (1039250) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701529)

I think credit card companies charging 2 to 3% fees from the retailers for credit card transactions is fair, I think.

I think 2-3% is extremely high for what they are doing. The credit card processors have very low marginal costs and typically operate at very large scales. Without thinking too hard about this, I agree that it would be reasonable to model the fees as a function of short-term interest rates (for the loan) plus a markup. But remember, we're talking about 2-3% out of every dollar spent: that's a slice of the total revenue, not just profits; so that eats directly into the profit margin of the seller. Risk-wise, it is diversified across more or less the entire population of consumers and market sectors, so really the biggest problem is when consumer spending goes down overall, which is when everyone is feeling the hurt. Interest-wise, it's a percentage of the total value spent regardless of the loan period. Assuming everyone pays their bills on time (no late fees: worst-case scenario for the credit card company), that means 2-3% for a month or two, which makes the annualized rate more like 12-18%. That sounds absurdly high, so I would welcome any corrections. I'm just saying that 2-3% sounds like a lot.

So.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701163)

If the banks assume that retailers have been passing the surcharge along to us as higher prices... then when the swipe fees start, retailers are going to drop their prices by the same amount... right?

BWAHAHAHAHAHA.. yea, sure.

How many reasons do you need to move to Texas? (0)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701169)

No oppressive state income tax. Robust economy. Wide open choice in education. Lower housing prices. None of these credit card fees. The governor should run for President. (that last part was supposed to be funny, so before you flame me, just go ahead and piss off already, alright flametards?)

Re:How many reasons do you need to move to Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701219)

But Texas is hot :(

Re:How many reasons do you need to move to Texas? (2)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701327)

And full of Texans. :(

Re:How many reasons do you need to move to Texas? (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701313)

No oppressive state income tax. Robust economy. Wide open choice in education. Lower housing prices. None of these credit card fees. The governor should run for President. (that last part was supposed to be funny, so before you flame me, just go ahead and piss off already, alright flametards?)

There's also Texans there, so, you know...

Re:How many reasons do you need to move to Texas? (2)

TarPitt (217247) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701391)

"No oppressive state income tax"

No, just higher property taxes, which you must pay regardless of your income.

Re:How many reasons do you need to move to Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701493)

Reasons not to:

High sales taxes, high property taxes, low wages, lousy public services, poor education

Re:How many reasons do you need to move to Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701495)

And our governer schedules rain dances every summer. Planned parenthood has been gutted. We're the state with the highest percent of people without health insurance. We're pretty poorly ranked in SAT scores and high school graduation rates.

Looks like a cash cow for ten states (2)

Heebie (1163973) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701177)

I have a feeling people who live close to the 10 states where it doesn't apply might very well end up shopping across the border starting tomorrow.

Re:Looks like a cash cow for ten states (4, Interesting)

Spectre (1685) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701251)

Very true.
Many, many people in Kansas City, which sits on the border of Kansas and Missouri, buy their gasoline in Missouri and the busiest stations are the ones just on the Missouri side of State Line Road, because the difference in gasoline taxes amounts to about seven cents per gallon.
At current prices in the area, that's about 2%. So it is a fair comparison and a good predictor that people would likely do the same thing for credit card purchases.
I would guess most people, though, could switch from credit purchases to debit card purchases for routine shopping.

Re:Looks like a cash cow for ten states (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701331)

It would be sad if they did switch to credit card purchases. In most places, the consumer has MUCH better protection in the event of good or services being sub-standard when purchasing something on a credit card rather than with cash or a debit card.

Maybe what banks are trying to discourage is people buying everyday goods on credit & paying off their bill in-full at the end of the month, in order to gain the extra protection gained by buying on credit.

Re:Looks like a cash cow for ten states (2)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701477)

When my debit card was compromised I found the dispute and recovery process reasonable and painless. But then again for the last decade I have only worked with small banks where they actually give a shit about you and you can actually talk to the bank's CEO without too much effort.

Conventions and Expo Shows done this for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701209)

The vendors don't set a cash price and tack on a "penalty" for using a card.
They set a credit price and then give a cash "discount".

The net effect in the register is exactly the same. The psychological effect is a positive reward, not a negative consequence.

oh well - time to go back to paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701217)

oh well - time to go back to paper and use cheques (checks) again.

Re:oh well - time to go back to paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701441)

oh well - time to go back to paper and use cheques (checks) again.

Thanks for the parenthetical. We never could've figured out the meaning of cheques without your help.

This is actually good news! (4, Insightful)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701267)

AS soon as consumers get the option to "Pay less in cash" -- because "pay more with credit" is more emotionally troubling, then the real cost of Credit Cards can be visible.

They don't really pay anything, just the difference between accounts from other banks - -but they charge a hefty fee on retailers and charge interest (compounded) on consumers.

There are new options that charge less, and they will get more prevalent if REAL COSTS are factored in. Not allowing retailers the option to pass on costs was only a benefit to the credit card companies -- it doesn't really save you money over time.

It's just a business expense! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701287)

What next, are they going to start calling the part of the income that goes to rent a "rent surcharge"? Eat the expense because it can bring more business. If you add it, see those customers go elsewhere.

Re:It's just a business expense! (1)

profplump (309017) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701427)

And if you don't add it you can have lower prices than your competitors, which will attract customers.

gas stations (3, Informative)

neurostar (578917) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701305)

(it seems that gasoline station owners here in Massachusetts got a different memo, though)

Despite the fact that the outcome is similar, there's a legal difference between "surcharge for credit" and "discount for cash". The former is/was illegal, the latter is legal. Presumably gas stations in MA and elsewhere are doing the latter.

Re:gas stations (2)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701409)

The latter was actually banned under these merchant agreements also: they forbid credit-card users being charged a different price from the cash price, regardless of whether it was structured as a surcharge for one or a discount for the other. However, some states overrode that with state law that allowed different cash/credit prices in certain markets, the two most common being gas stations and liquor stores.

In Texas, for example, merchants aren't allowed to give a cash discount in general, except that liquor stores are allowed to. So most liquor stores in Texas give a 3-5% cash discount.

Re:gas stations (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701417)

"Despite the fact that the outcome is similar, there's a legal difference between "surcharge for credit" and "discount for cash". The former is/was illegal, the latter is legal."

A discount for something that gets me robbed, that I have to bundle, count, insure, protect from my employees, guard and put in safes and transport to the bank risking my life or _pay_ somebody to do it?

Why would one do that?

Wait what? (0)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701333)

Hold on there is a law in texas that actually protects consumers from big business? No way I must of woke up in Bizarro Texas this morning.

Re:Wait what? (1)

radiumsoup (741987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701565)

If you'll notice, government agencies (and schools) are exempt from the "protection", as you call it. Any time you pay the State of Texas for anything via credit card, you'll get a surcharge.

Opposite effect - see Iran (4, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701343)

So we kicked Iran out of the SWIFT international monetary system, and what did they do? Trade everything in gold to Turkey and China. We've lost the ability to track what they're buying.

The government wants to track everything you buy - hell, Target wants to track everything you buy - and what this will do is make everyone use good old cash. After a while that 3% surcharge will feel like chump change to people who've lost their entire demographic database of purchasers.

So what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701363)

I don't see the big fear surrounding the usage of cash. Cash means freedom, and anonymity. If there are going to be surcharges for the use of the credit card, then who cares?

Maybe the average consumer will then see the true disadvantage of buying everything on credit.

Thanks you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701375)

Our lobbyists have done it for us too, thank you.

The Guild of Thieves.

Cash Discount (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701425)

It's always been an option for a retailer to give a "cash discount". Almost none do, because it's an extra 3% in their pocket if you pay the credit transaction upcharge to them during a cash transaction anyway.

its not a roadblock (5, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701453)

to any sort of cash-free economy. this is a roadblock to multinational financial institutions continuing to exercise carte-blance restraint in the way they charge fees for their services. A cash free economy and a privately controlled electronic banking system are two different things.

can we bite the bullet and conclude that electronic transfers and card based transactions are so ubiquitous as to become a right of the people? Grow some balls, amend a few laws, and lets make a national payment card system that works with our existing currency and doesnt require some per-swipe "fee" to pay for a server to connect to a database and decrement an integer over SSL.

It was good while it lasted (1)

kvnslash (2292742) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701511)

Merchants should be careful with this. I think it will just give consumers a reason to go somewhere else for the same service/product. I already avoid businesses that have credit card minimums. That said I guess it's time to actually start carrying around cash again, which probably means I'll be more frugal. It's incredibly easy to sign a receipt. If I have to hand over physical bills it will feel like I am spending more.

Seen this in the South for a while (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701525)

Driving along the interstate, you will often see Gas station signs with differences for Cash/Credit (mostly on diesel I've noticed, but it's always at Flying J/Pilot/other stations that primarily attract truckers). Ironically, the only other place I've seen that actually has a cash discount is some of the local gun shops. The prices advertised are cash prices, and they stick on an extra 3% if you use card. Of course, with the (relatively) high price of firearms, it makes sense for them to do this, as that can actually affect their bottom line to a degree.

Fuck (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42701553)

Hey guys and girls. This will mark my first post and thread on this forum. In this thread I plan to give you all a rundown of what I experienced during my visit to the MEPS (Maxwell-Gunter AFB in Montgomery, AL.).
To preface, I am 19 years old and a few months ago I decided that joining the armed forces would give me the benefits I needed as well as a stable job. I chose the U.S. Air Force (Active Duty).
Alright so after I had met up with my local USAF recruiter, he told me I was ready for MEPS to take the ASVAB and get my physical done. I was excited and, honestly, nervous. He signed me up to go to MEPS on Jan 15, 2013 (so this is a fresh experience for me).
I spent two days in Montgomery, the first day was my ASVAB and the second was my physical.
ASVAB DAY: JAN 15, 2013 (20130115)
Man! Whoever knew a shuttle ride from Pensacola, FL to Montgomery would take so long! I was in a van for about 3.5-4 hours on my way to the MEPS with seven other applicants, which was spent in nearly complete silence as I was listening to my music player and sleeping. Once we got to Montgomery, the shuttle was emptied of all its riders save a National Guard applicant and myself at this really nice hotel because everyone else in the van had already completed their ASVAB. After this was about a seven minute drive to the MEPS on Maxwell-Gunter AFB.
So we finally get to the MEPS and get our initial signing in and (right now, only index) fingerprinting done. Up to the second floor we go! On the second floor is the counselor's offices (to the right of the stairs) and the ASVAB complex (left). I sign for my shuttle ride back to the hotel and wait patiently for my name to be called.
To be completely honest, the ASVAB wasn't that hard. I don't see how people fail this test, man. I kill about two hours taking the ASVAB and then the TAPAS (for those who don't know, this is a personality test) and get sent back down to the first floor and wait for my shuttle to the hotel.
Embassy Suites! Man, I have been to other hotels before (band competitions in faraway cities), but this hotel puts them all to shame! I walk in and there's this beautiful scenery consisting of running water in extended ponds and channels surrounding the central area of the lobby. I walk over to the representative and he gives me this sheet of paper (an address from the armed forces officials saying that I need to behave, the food is free, the 10PM curfew, etc.) to read over and then he signs me up for a room, which I decide to share with the National Guard applicant who I'd befriended on the way to MEPS. It's already 7PM so I decided to go ahead and eat at the dinner buffet, where I ate a pork chop, some wild rice, a slice of meatloaf, and some mixed veggies. I was starving and the food was more than great. After eating, I met one of the Air Force applicants I'd talked to earlier in the recruiter's office back in Pensacola. He and a another Air Force member were sharing a piano. Her flight had been cancelled so she was set back a day from heading out to Lackland for BMT. He only knew chords and she played fluently, serenading the lobby with Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata No.14, a beautiful piece of music, I might add. I went after her, playing Pachelbel's Canon in D and then Your Guardian Angel by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Once we were all done, she and I headed to our rooms and the other USAF applicant decided to stay out for a bit longer to play with the piano. For some reason I couldn't get myself to sleep. I already had a glass of water, taken a late night shower, etc. and still didn't end up falling asleep until about 1AM. Still though, it was a good 3 hours of sleep before the wake up call.
Physical Day/ Oathing Day: JAN 16, 2013 (20130116)
(To preface this section, I had no clue I'd get so much work done on this day and had no clue I would be able to oath in!)
Awake at roughly 3:40AM, I go ahead and hit the shower to help me wake up. I get my shave on and brush my teeth, dress for MEPS, wake the roommate, and head downstairs for breakfast. This day's breakfast consisted of two yogurt cups, a banana, an apple, some bacon, a biscuit, two cups of cranberry juice, and three cups of water.
For anyone heading to MEPS, if you are like me and have an issue urinating in public (it just won't come out), I HIGHLY recommend drinking cranberry juice. It will power through your system like a train and peeing for the urinalysis will be so much easier. If cranberry juice isn't available, sweet tea works as well. Always make sure you drink at least two to three cups of water.
Breakfast is done, we're all ready to leave and this is our last moments at the Embassy Suites hotel. I thank the staff graciously for their hospitality and turn in my room key. Outside is a charter bus prepared to take all of us (roughly 60 applicants, including about 10 people ready to ship out) to the MEPS. We get there at roughly 5:30 and immediately spend a hefty amount of time waiting in line just to sign in and wait for further instructions.
I was sent upstairs to my USAF guidance counselor, who was pretty down to Earth about the whole process. He took the package of personal information that my recruiter had put together, placed is in a folder, and pulled out another folder, which contained my ASVAB scores and other sheets of paper that were to be filled out later by the MEPS personnel. He ran over my score, telling me that I had done very well. I made an 81 on my ASVAB, which I had not previously studied for, read up on, or honestly knew anything about next to what questions I answered in the pre-screening test several weeks beforehand.
He handed me this folder and sent me on my way up to the third floor to begin the rest of my day.
As soon as I hit the third floor, I was sat down in a chair and my blood pressure and pulse were analyzed. I came out with a systolic pressure of 123 and a diastolic pressure of 81; a decent blood pressure for a 19 year old weighing in at 155 lbs. My pulse was 90, but only because my body was digesting food at the time and that puts a spike in your pulse, as the stomach and intestines demand more blood. My normal pulse is 67.
After my blood pulse, I was sent across the hall to a room where I was introduced officially to the MEPS and checked over some basic information for spelling errors, filled out a questionnaire, a scantron test, a medical history paper, and eventually the breathalyzer test, which I passed because I don't drink :P
After this, I ended up waiting a significant amount of time for the next test; my vision test.
I wear glasses, but my vision test came out with good results. I have perfect depth perception, color vision and near vision. Seeing far was harder, obviously. What most people can see 200 feet away, I need to be 20 feet from to see. Nothing abnormal for a glasses wearer with nearsightedness. The vision doctor filled out some paperwork in my folder and sent me on my way.
Next up was my hearing test. Now I don't know about the rest of you guys but I'm a bit of a music fanatic and an audiophile. What happens with the hearing test is you head into a room inside a room (roomception!). Once you're inside this room, the person performing the hearing test sends five people into this small, soundproof box. What we did is sit on a stool, put on headphones, and grab a clicker off the wall. This test is four minutes long and what happens is every time you hear a sound in the headphones, you cut off the tone by pushing the button on the clicker. The tones range in frequency AND volume. So basically, if you think you heard it, you heard it. You click the clicker.
Once we finished the hearing test we were sent across the hall for (one of the harder tests for me, seeing as I HATE public bathrooms and can't normally pee around other people) the urinalysis. This test sucks for people like me. What happens for guys is this: you're lined up at a row of urinals (it was 4 for me), given a cup, and you have to fill this cup about half-way and then you place it on a shelf and finish your business in the urinal. I was crammed with two cups of cranberry juice and three cups of water and by the time I hit the urinalysis, I felt like my bladder was going to explode. So my typical inability to pee in public was easily conquered. I gave the cup to a lady at a counter behind a wall in this "restroom" and she poured most of the urine into a small plastic bottle, capped it off, and pulled out this small white strip and dipped that in the rest of the urine. Once she'd finished that little bit she placed my folder under my arm and sent me across the room to wash my hands. I was done with the urinalysis and sent across the hall.
Next up was the blood test. This test was extremely easily for me. I'm a blood donor and I have strong veins/arteries. Basically, the blood test person calls you in, and draws your blood. The process is about two minutes long and all they take is a small vial of blood. If you are scared of blood or get nauseous at the sight of blood, all you need to do is look away. If you're afraid of needles, don't worry. The needle is neither thick nor long and doesn't feel any worse than a pinch. Once their done they press some gauze on the puncture and have you put constant pressure on it for about three minutes so that it can clot.
Almost done! Only two tests left after the blood test.
Next is a quick physical where you strip down to your boxers and do what's known as the "duck walk", where your squat and walk back and forth. There are other exercises you do here, like windmilling your arms. The purpose of these exercises is to see if you have a full range of motion in your body. Once you've done this the personnel grab your height and weight and send you across the room and line you up at doors where you will be checked out even more in-depth.
This last test I took pushed my limits. What happens is (you're still in your boxers) a doctor looks you up and down to see if you have any concerning scars, marks, etc. Then he asks you some questions regarding your medical history, tests your reflexes, and finally ends this embarrassing test by making you push your boxers down to your knees, look away, and then presses around your groin to check for signs of hernia. He presses around your privates and has you force a cough. Depending who you get, this man WILL push your scrotum up and have you cough. So be prepared for that violation of personal space and privacy.
Once you're done here, you're basically done for the physical. You get dressed again and you wait in line for one of the MEPS personnel to look at your information and results. He signs it off and sends you back into the main waiting area on the third floor, where you turn all your information in and wait to be called up. Once I was called up I was sent down to the second floor to my USAF guidance counselor to discuss my Aptitude area and preferred jobs. Before he got to me we were sent to the Aviation Inn for lunch and I must say that the Air Force treats you good with food. I was starving by this point and got some Spaghetti, fried chicken, pizza, and some mashed potatoes. I got a glass of water and a cup of Pepsi and turned in my lunch ticket. After lunch we headed back to the MEPS and I waited until I was called into the USAF guidance counselor's office. Basically what happens here is you're sent down to be completely fingerprinted and then you discuss your aptitude area with the guidance counselor as well as your preferred jobs. My top jobs included Special Forces CCT, Armament, Tactical Aircraft Maintenance, Vehicle Maintenance, and Special Mission Aviation. My aptitude area is Electronics.
After all this he ran me through a contract, which I signed that I understood, ran my fingerprint about 5 times, and sent me back down to the first floor for an interview concerning my personal information. By this time in the day it was approaching 4:30PM and I was all set to swear in!
I was sent to wait for about ten more minutes, then I was called in to swear into the United States Air Force. We watched a video concerning what happens if we should fail to meet military standards or desert, and then we went into the swearing room. We signed our contracts, swore in, got our pictures taken, and now I am in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) until March/April where I will be shipped out to Lackland for BMT. :)
I remember the smile that spread across my face as the man who managed the swearing in looked me in the eyes and said "Welcome to the United States Air Force."
It's a big step in my life and I'm prepared to meet whatever expectations are set on me.
And thus ends my personal account at MEPS :) I hope you enjoyed the read!

Haven't seen a story about bitcoin in a while (1, Funny)

watermark (913726) | about a year and a half ago | (#42701581)

Bitcoins solve all problems

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