In this segment from the Motley Fool Money radio show, host Chris Hill and Supernova and Rule Breakers' David Kretzmann ponder Visa's (NYSE:V) ongoing effort to supplant folding money. This latest play is somewhat clever, though it could be a bad deal for the "winners." But the more compelling story in the world of plastic payments this week came out of a cash machine -- literally.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on July 14, 2017.
Chris Hill: On Wednesday, Visa unveiled a challenge to small businesses in the United States. Visa wants them to convert to a cashless payment model and is offering an incentive of $10,000 to up to 50 different businesses. David, we talk about businesses competing against one another. Visa appears to be competing with cash.
David Kretzmann: Visa is declaring a war on cash with this move. Cash is still the most widely used payment form in the U.S., with about a third of transactions in the U.S. being done in cash. So Visa obviously wants debit cards and credit cards to be a bigger percentage, and eventually the entire piece of the pie. Cash and check transactions total worldwide, it's $17 trillion as of last year. That was up a little bit. So there's a huge market opportunity there for Visa. And I actually wonder if this is that great of a deal for the 50 restaurants or food vendors who will eventually get that $10,000 check from Visa. I wonder if they deliver it by credit card or check. But credit card interchange fees, which is essentially the cut that Visa takes of each transaction that's made, it's about 2% of each transaction. I think if you're a vendor, getting paid $10,000 to upgrade your payment technology and market the program, I don't know if that's all that great of a trade-off when you're still paying that 2% fee to Visa.
Hill: And if we lived in a cashless society, we wouldn't have stories like this one: Also on Wednesday, at an ATM in Corpus Christi, Texas, customers weren't just getting their money during their transactions. They got their cash, their receipts, and a desperate plea for help. Out of the receipt slot came a handwritten note that read, "Please help. I'm stuck in here and I don't have my phone. Please call my boss." Some customers thought it was a joke and walked away, but two hours later, when police finally arrived on the same, they discovered that a repairman had accidentally locked himself into a small room connected to the ATM. He did not have his phone or his key card. He did, however, have his pen. Let's go to our man behind the glass on this one. Steve Broido, we have just a few seconds left. You saw this story. What was your reaction when you read this?
Steve Broido: Awesome. You're stuck in a place with infinite money. It doesn't get much better than that.
Hill: Do you think he pocketed a few bills on his way out the door?
Broido: I hope so.