What is the general relationship between banks and credit card companies?

Discussion in 'Economics' started by RGLD, May 29, 2021.

  1. RGLD


    For example my Mastercard is through citibank. Can you just get a visa card without going through some kind of bank?

    Who makes the money when you spend? Mastercard or your bank? Does one make more off debit card or credit?
    kmiklas likes this.
  2. Overnight


    Easy. The banks make money on the interest you owe them as you carry a balance. Visa and M/C simply collect their fees for each transaction.

    Yes, you can get a "Visa card" without going through a bank. It's a pre-paid card, so not really a credit card. But you pay a fee for the privilege.
  3. JSOP


    Yeah you can. You can get credit cards without going through a bank. Lots of merchants issue those cards now, not just the prepaid ones. Amazon is one that issues credit cards now.
  4. RGLD


    Who pays the fees? Me? I only pay interest for the credit. Also if it's a debit card there is no interest. Who makes money there? Jim?
    Last edited: May 29, 2021
  5. Visa and MasterCard are payment processors. They have a network of banks that enable easy exchange and transfers of money to occur. For payments to process on their networks there is a fee usually paid by the merchant. E.g. you go to Starbucks and spend $5 on a latte using your bofa visa credit card. You now owe bofa $5. Starbucks receives the $5 but pays 2% to process, which is split between the merchant payment system (e.g. clover) and visa, which is about 10 cents in this example.
  6. Overnight


    The proprietor (merchant) who accepts the Visa/MC as a form of payment is the one who pays the fee when you purchase something from them. Last I remember from years ago, it was something like 6% of the purchase price.

    That is why Square was such a cool new idea. Their merchant fee was something like 1.5%.

    As for the pre-paid debit card? The fee is in the purchase price of the card. You don't get a $100 card for $100. You pay a little extra to get that pre-paid $100.
  7. Sig


    In addition, MasterCard was actually itself owned by the banks that issued MasterCards until it's IPO. I'm guessing a number of them still own their original interest in the company. So the issuers are making money on both legs of the merchant fee in that case.
  8. ajacobson


    I believe almost every merchant credit card is white-labeled by a bank. Amazon as an example is Synchrony and most others are Citi. They get paid to sell the order flow.
    Costco used to be Amex, but Citi outbid them when the Amex contract was up for renewal. Discover owns a bank.
    A few boutiques still actually lend, but it has become rare.
    Swipe fees are pretty much public and there is a battle every time the matter comes up.
  9. JSOP


    No the merchants pay the merchant fees. You pay the interest only if you are late in your payments. With debit cards, merchant pays the merchant fees still to whoever is the issuer of th debit cards so it's whoever is the issuer of the debit cards that makes the money.
  10. kmiklas


    It's BAML not BOFA
    #10     May 30, 2021