Recently in Canada the Visa corporation has been running a cheeky little marketing campaign with the tag line “Do you Smallenfreuden?” Which by all accounts is a made up term that translates into “The joy of small” or “go ahead….put that on your credit card”. The whole idea of the campaign is to persuade consumers that when you are out and about and you want to purchase something small (between $20 – $100), you may as well slap it on your credit card…it will make you happy…what’s the harm?
Well here’s the harm…first it encourages increased credit card purchases…for some people this is fine, they can handle it and they will pay off the card before any interest occurs…but for most, especially our younger generations this could turn into a very expensive habit…that 20 dollar purchase could easily turn into 75 if they carry a balance and they decide to only pay the minimum balance.
The second issue (and the major issue) is that anytime you purchase something with your credit card the vendor is then charged a percentage of the purchase price… so what happens to that percentage? Well either the vendor has to take the hit and it eats into their profit…which when you think of local businesses, or mom and pop type shops this means that it makes it more difficult for them to make a profit and make it more difficult to compete…so they end up passing along the credit card transaction fees in the form of increased prices.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business came up with another term to describe the ad campain “Schadenfreuden,” which means the pleasure derived from seeing others’ misfortune. I thought tha was brilliant!
And this is the reality of the way we consume. In a recent message from Mary she wanted us to listen….and think…and check with our hearts. Listen to what is happening around us. What are the Banksters doing? Is it fair? No, of course not. While the Banksters are trying to encourage us to use credit cards for small purchases what it is really doing is driving up the cost of goods and services, meanwhile the banks are continually reporting record profits, huge bonuses for executives and we as consumers are still getting minimal interest rates on our savings accounts.
…and this is according to Mary!