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Dancard works for local payments, but the discussion here is about the growing demand to transact with foreign companies online. For example, if you're in Denmark and you want to buy a SaaS subscription from a US company, you're stuck giving them a Visa/MC number. Some of the downsides of this are the 3% fee, risk of the number being stolen, not to mention Visa/MC applying US law and morals to kill businesses anywhere in the world.



> Dancard works for local payments, but the discussion here is about the growing demand to transact with foreign companies online. For example, if you're in Denmark and you want to buy a SaaS subscription from a US company, you're stuck giving them a Visa/MC number. Some of the downsides of this are the 3% fee, risk of the number being stolen, not to mention Visa/MC applying US law and morals to kill businesses anywhere in the world.

If there was political will, there is nothing stopping governments from capping the fees taken by Visa/MC.


The fees on Visa/MasterCard in the EU are capped at 0.2% for debit cards, 0.3% for credit cards.

American Express (and all the other schemes where the issuer is also the acquirer, i.e. Diners Club) aren’t capped.

The 0.3% cap however did kill Amex’s licensing model where they let other banks around Europe issue their cards, so they simply withdrew from those, as 0.3% is not enough to pay for the rewards.

Note that this is just interchange. Payment processors still charge merchants whatever they damn please.


Many people feel the solution to bad products is making better competing products rather than adding government regulation.


Many people feel that regulating abusive monopolies which kill competitors in underhanded ways is a better solution than expecting greed to solve it.


I may be in the minority here, but it's possible that there can be a scientific economics.

Sure you feel one way. Other people feel another.

But it's also possible the correct answer doesn't depend on your feelings but on falsifiable theories.


If you can come up with a scientifically falsifiable theory on the effectiveness of government regulation, there’s a Nobel Prize waiting for you. It’s hard for a lot of reasons, including that it’s almost impossible to create a true test and control treatment.

Macroeconomic theory relies on a lot of spherical cows. In theory I don’t disagree with you, but in practice we don’t have the tools (yet) to do this type of economics in a scientific/falsifiable way.


I don't think you can come up with a quality test for economic scenarios in a truly scientific way, many monopolies dominate for very different reasons, many industries have very different mechanics, and worse, regulations are often implemented in vastly different ways and often won't come out the way you'd like them to even if you have a perfect scientific answer to a given problem.

You can't guarantee or even approximate a given input and output for a scenario like this.


I'm not sure I quite understand, but it's certainly possible the equations that govern economics are sensitive to initial conditions. In that case we will never know enough to specify the initial consitions entirely.

But we also don't need to specify initial conditions exactly to do science.

I'm less convinced that the equations themselves are unknowable.


We also won't be able to specify the outcome precisely even if we somehow had a guaranteed outcome in mind.

Politicians will screw up the implementation, businesses will engineer around it and the alternative solution might ultimately come out to be a better one in practice than in theory.

Trying to define economics by simple equations which you expect to define policy is a lost cause.


Look up Hayek on the pretense of knowledge in economics.


Hayek isn't particularly well regarded as an economist, even among those that love his politics.

See e.g. Milton Friedman's comments about how flawed Hayek's economics are and how great Road to Serfdom is.

So my take on that speech is it's political rather than scientific.

In general I'm skeptical of arguments that something is unknowable unless they come with a rigorous proof or at least a well stated conjecture that has stood the test of time.


This. There shouldn’t be punishments to middlemen who provide a service just come up with a better way. Innovation should happen here not governments enacting laws that effectively kill all the profits a company can make.


I think we don't have to go to cryptocurrencies to see that these punishments are severly needed. Just look at the weekly scandals of "disruptive" new startup banks, people's financials deserve a few governmental protections and if the middlemen are shitty at their job (due to malice or mere incompetence) they deserve a little punishment here or there.

I get that this type of oversight is likely against some philosophical POV here but it's not like middlemen making money is an all-to-great and solitary goal a society should try to defend.


There are rent seeking “middle-men” companies out there just milking patents or their position without providing much if anything of value. I’ll admit that. But I would contend that the credit card processing companies charging 3 to 5 percent are providing a value in the complexity that is payments but whether that warrants 3 to 5 percent I’m not qualified to say just I wanted to make the distraction between the types of middlemen.


Agreed, it's not as though Visa/MC will decide to exit a country altogether foregoing any revenue.


Every additional payment method supported by XaaS is one more reason for using 3rd party payment processing, meaning that there will be a fee even on independent cryptocurrency. It’s not a solution.




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