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信用卡的前世今生 发表评论(0) 编辑词条

目录

信用卡的前世今生编辑本段回目录

信用卡知多D

A credit card is a small plastic card issued to users as a system of payment. It allows its holder to buy goods and services based on the holder's promise to pay for these goods and services.[1] The issuer of the card creates a revolving account and grants a line of credit to the consumer (or the user) from which the user can borrow money for payment to a merchant or as a cash advance to the user.

信用卡就是持卡人用作支付工具的一张小塑料卡片。持卡人只要承诺还款,就可以用信用卡购买商品及服务。发卡机构为消费者(持卡人)提供可循环使用的账户及授信额度,这样他们就可以借钱消费或者预借现金。

A credit card is different from a charge card: a charge card requires the balance to be paid in full each month. In contrast, credit cards allow the consumers a continuing balance of debt, subject to interest being charged. A credit card also differs from a cash card, which can be used like currency by the owner of the card. Most credit cards are issued by banks or credit unions, and are the shape and size specified by the ISO/IEC 7810 standard as ID-1. This is defined as 85.60 × 53.98 mm (3.370 × 2.125 in) (33/8 × 21/8 in) in size.

信用卡跟签帐卡不一样:签帐卡得每月全额还款。相反,只要支付了利息,消费者就可以用信用卡持续透支。信用卡跟可被用作货币的现金卡也不太一样。大多数信用卡均由银行或信用社发行,形状和尺寸均符合ISO (国际标准组织)7810 ID-1标准。尺寸通常为85.60×53.98毫米(3.370×2.125英寸)(33/8×21/8英寸)。

History

The concept of using a card for purchases was described in 1887 by Edward Bellamy in his utopian novel Looking Backward. Bellamy used the term credit card eleven times in this novel.[2]

历史

1887年,Edward Bellamy 在他的乌托邦式小说 向前看 里最早提及用卡消费。Bellamy在这本小说里使用信用卡这个名词多达11次。

The modern credit card was the successor of a variety of merchant credit schemes. It was first used in the 1920s, in the United States, specifically to sell fuel to a growing number of automobile owners. In 1938 several companies started to accept each other's cards. Western Union had begun issuing charge cards to its frequent customers in 1921. Some charge cards were printed on paper card stock, but were easily counterfeited.

现代的信用卡由各种商业信贷计划演变而来。在20世纪20年代的美国,信用卡首次被使用,特别是用于向越来越多的汽车车主售卖燃油。1938年,部分公司开始互相认可彼此的信用卡。西联汇款公司也于1921年向它的熟客发行签帐卡。一些签帐卡就直接打印在纸质的卡片凭证上,这很容易被伪造。

The Charga-Plate, developed in 1928, was an early predecessor to the credit card and used in the U.S. from the 1930s to the late 1950s. It was a 2½" × 1¼" rectangle of sheet metal related to Addressograph and military dog tag systems. It was embossed with the customer's name, city and state. It held a small paper card for a signature. In recording a purchase, the plate was laid into a recess in the imprinter, with a paper "charge slip" positioned on top of it. The record of the transaction included an impression of the embossed information, made by the imprinter pressing an inked ribbon against the charge slip.[3] Charga-Plate was a trademark of Farrington Manufacturing Co. Charga-Plates were issued by large-scale merchants to their regular customers, much like department store credit cards of today. In some cases, the plates were kept in the issuing store rather than held by customers. When an authorized user made a purchase, a clerk retrieved the plate from the store's files and then processed the purchase. Charga-Plates speeded back-office bookkeeping that was done manually in paper ledgers in each store, before computers.

发行于1928年的Charga-Plate是早期信用卡的先驱,在20世纪30年代至50年代末的美国使用。它是一种2½" × 1¼" 规格的薄金属片,类似Addressograph(一种邮邮件地址印刷机)和身份识别牌的东西。它上面凸印有持有者的姓名跟住址。它用一张很小的纸卡作签名授权。处理购买交易时,在这种薄片上附一张纸质签购单,然后放进特定印刷器的卡槽里。再按压一下印刷器对着签购单的色带,就可以得到凸印有相关信息的交易记录。Charga-Plate Farrington制造公司的商标。大量的商店向他们的熟客发行Charga-Plate卡,有点类似现在的百货信用卡。有时候,这种卡由发行的商店而非消费者保存。当一个经授权的持有人购买东西时,收银员从商店的档案中找到卡片,然后再处理交易。 Charga-Plates 卡加速了后台记账处理,在还没有电脑前,各个商店都得在纸质分类账簿上做后台记账。

The concept of customers paying different merchants using the same card was implemented in 1950 by Ralph Schneider and Frank McNamara, founders of Diners Club, to consolidate multiple cards. The Diners Club, which was created partially through a merger with Dine and Sign, produced the first "general purpose" charge card, and required the entire bill to be paid with each statement. That was followed by Carte Blanche and in 1958 by American Express which created a worldwide credit card network (although these were initially charge cards that acquired credit card features after BankAmericard demonstrated the feasibility of the concept).

1950年,大莱俱乐部的创始人 Ralph Schneider和Frank McNamara,将消费者在不同商户用同张卡片消费的理念付诸实施,旨在整合各式各样的卡片。由Dine和Sign部分合并而来的大莱俱乐部,推出首张具有“通用功能”的签帐卡,并要求所有的账单都要通过(打印)购物结算单来支付。 Carete Blance公司马上跟进这种做法,1958年美国发行了全球通用信用卡的美国运通公司也作出跟进。(不过这些都是原始的签帐卡,直到美国银行正式提出信用卡概念后,它们才具有信用卡的特性)

However, until 1958, no one had been able to create a working revolving credit financial instrument issued by a third-party bank that was generally accepted by a large number of merchants (as opposed to merchant-issued revolving cards accepted by only a few merchants). A dozen experiments by small American banks had been attempted (and had failed). In September 1958, Bank of America launched the BankAmericard in Fresno, California. BankAmericard became the first successful recognizably modern credit card (although it underwent a troubled gestation during which its creator resigned), and with its overseas affiliates, eventually evolved into the Visa system. In 1966, the ancestor of MasterCard was born when a group of California banks established Master Charge to compete with BankAmericard; it received a significant boost when Citibank merged its proprietary Everything Card (launched in 1967) into Master Charge in 1969.

然而,直到1958年,也没有一家机构能创造出一种由第三方银行发行、能为广大商户接受、可提供循环信用的金融工具(商户发行的循环信用卡片,只被少数商户认可)。美国的一些小银行倒是进行了不少尝试(都失败了)。1958年9月,美国银行在加州弗雷斯诺市发行了美国银行卡。它成为首张被认可的真正的现代信用卡(虽然它在问世之初一度被放弃)美国银行卡及其海外机构,最终演变为Visa组织。1966年,由加州的银行组建的万事达的前身---万事签,开始与美国银行卡展开竞争。1969年花旗银行将旗下的Everything卡(发行于1967年)并入万事签,使后者的业务得到显著提升。

Early credit cards in the U.S., of which BankAmericard was the most prominent example, were mass produced and mass mailed unsolicited to bank customers who were thought to be good credit risks. But, “They have been mailed off to unemployables, drunks, narcotics addicts and to compulsive debtors, a process President Johnson’s Special Assistant Betty Furness found very like ‘giving sugar to diabetics’.”[4] These mass mailings were known as "drops" in banking terminology, and were outlawed in 1970 due to the financial chaos that they caused, but not before 100 million credit cards had been dropped into the U.S. population. After 1970, only credit card applications could be sent unsolicited in mass mailings.

以占据市场主导地位的美国银行卡为例,早期美国疯狂地发行信用卡,并大量邮寄给并无提出申请的被认为信用风险较低的银行客户们。但是,“他们同时也寄给了那些失业者、醉汉、瘾君子及负债者,这个过程被约翰逊总统的特别助理Betty Furness 描述为"给糖尿病患者提供糖"。”这种疯狂的邮寄行为在银行术语里成为“狂寄”,1970年因导致金融秩序混乱被叫停,但此前已在美国投递了一亿张信用卡。1970年后,只有信用卡申请表才被允许大量寄送给未提出申请的人。

The fractured nature of the U.S. banking system under the Glass–Steagall Act meant that credit cards became an effective way for those who were traveling around the country to move their credit to places where they could not directly use their banking facilities. In 1966 Barclaycard in the UK launched the first credit card outside of the U.S.

美国银行系统分散的特性在格拉斯-斯提格法案下意味着,信用卡为那些在国内旅行的人们提供了一种非常高效的服务:可将信用转移到他们不能直接使用银行资产的地方。1966年,巴克莱卡在英国发行,成为首张在美国以外发行的信用卡。

There are now countless variations on the basic concept of revolving credit for individuals (as issued by banks and honored by a network of financial institutions), including organization-branded credit cards, corporate-user credit cards, store cards and so on.

现在有无数种基于为个人提供循环信用理念的信用卡(比如由银行发行及由金融机构网络荣誉出品),包括企业联名信用卡,单位卡,商户卡等。

Although credit cards reached very high adoption levels in the US, Canada and the UK in the mid twentieth century, many cultures were more cash-oriented, or developed alternative forms of cash-less payments, such as Carte bleue or the Eurocard (Germany, France, Switzerland, and others). In these places, adoption of credit cards was initially much slower. It took until the 1990s to reach anything like the percentage market-penetration levels achieved in the US, Canada, or UK. In some countries, acceptance still remains poor as the use of a credit card system depends on the banking system being perceived as reliable. Japan remains a very cash oriented society, with credit card adoption being limited to only the largest of merchants, although an alternative system based on RFIDs inside cellphones has seen some acceptance. Because of strict regulations regarding banking system overdrafts, some countries, France in particular, were much faster to develop and adopt chip-based credit cards which are now seen as major anti-fraud credit devices. Debit cards and online banking are used more widely than credit cards in some countries.

虽然在20世纪中叶,信用卡在美国、加拿大及英国具有较高的普及率,但很多其他文化背景国家使用更多的是现金主导型卡,或使用较少用现金交易的其他可替代的支付工具,比如 Carte bleue 和欧洲卡(德国,法国,瑞士还有其他国家)。在这些国家,最初信用卡的普及是很慢的,直到1990年代,才达到像美国,加拿大或英国那样的市场渗透率水平。在某些国家,(信用卡)接受度还是很低,因为信用卡系统的使用还依赖于被视为较为可靠的银行体系(译者注:此句不太懂,请赐教。)日本仍然是一个以现金交易为主导的社会,只在最大型的商户受理信用卡,不过还有一些地方可受理在手机内使用无线识别技术的交易形式。因为银行体系透支方面的严格规定,某些国家,特别是法国,正快速发展和采用芯片型信用卡,现在被视为主要的反欺诈卡手段。在某些国家,借记卡和网上银行也比信用卡更普及。

The design of the credit card itself has become a major selling point in recent years. The value of the card to the issuer is often related to the customer's usage of the card, or to the customer's financial worth. This has led to the rise of Co-Brand and Affinity cards - where the card design is related to the "affinity" (a university or professional society, for example) leading to higher card usage. In most cases a percentage of the value of the card is returned to the affinity group.

近年来信用卡的设计逐渐成为它的一个主要卖点。信用卡对于发行机构的价值通常和持卡人的使用有关,或者与持卡人的经济价值有关。这导致联名卡和认同卡的崛起,卡片的设计与“价值认同”相关(比如,一间大学或专业团体),从而达到更高的信用卡使用率。多数情况下信用卡收入的1%会返回给价值认同组织。

[edit] Collectible credit cards

A growing field of numismatics (study of money), or more specifically exonumia (study of money-like objects), credit card collectors seek to collect various embodiments of credit from the now familiar plastic cards to older paper merchant cards, and even metal tokens that were accepted as merchant credit cards. Early credit cards were made of celluloid plastic, then metal and fiber, then paper, and are now mostly plastic.

可作收藏的信用卡

钱币收藏(研究钱币的),或更特别的类钱币收藏(研究类钱币的东西)领域正在兴起,信用卡收藏者寻求各种信用载体,从现在为人熟知的塑料卡到较早期的纸质商户卡,甚至是被视为商户信用卡的金属代币。早期的信用卡由胶质塑料制成,后来是金属和纤维,再后来是纸,现在大多数是塑料制成的。

[edit] How credit cards work

Credit cards are issued by a credit card issuer, such as a bank or credit union, after an account has been approved by the credit provider, after which cardholders can use it to make purchases at merchants accepting that card. Merchants often advertise which cards they accept by displaying acceptance marks – generally derived from logos – or may communicate this orally, as in "Credit cards are fine" (implicitly meaning "major brands"), "We take (brands X, Y, and Z)", or "We don't take credit cards".

信用卡到底怎样运营

信用卡通常由信用卡发行机构比如银行或信用组织发行,后来是由授信机构提供一个账户,再后来持卡人就可用卡在商户消费了。商户通常通过展示可受理标志,为它能受理的信用卡做广告----通常来自徽标---或者可能通过口头说明,比如“信用卡好啊”(暗示主要的大品牌),“我们受理(X,Y和Z牌)”,或者“我们不受理信用卡”。

When a purchase is made, the credit card user agrees to pay the card issuer. The cardholder indicates consent to pay by signing a receipt with a record of the card details and indicating the amount to be paid or by entering a personal identification number (PIN). Also, many merchants now accept verbal authorizations via telephone and electronic authorization using the Internet, known as a card not present transaction (CNP).

当刷卡消费后,信用卡持卡人愿意付报酬给信用卡发行机构。持卡人可通过以下方式授权支付:在交易清单上签名认可消费金额,或者输入个人身份认证码(PIN码)。当然,现在很多商家接受电话口头授权和网络电子授权,就是常说的离线交易(CNP)。

Electronic verification systems allow merchants to verify in a few seconds that the card is valid and the credit card customer has sufficient credit to cover the purchase, allowing the verification to happen at time of purchase. The verification is performed using a credit card payment terminal or point-of-sale (POS) system with a communications link to the merchant's acquiring bank. Data from the card is obtained from a magnetic stripe or chip on the card; the latter system is called Chip and PIN in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and is implemented as an EMV card.

购买交易发生时可以(向发卡机构)核实信息,电子验证系统只用几秒钟即可反馈以下信息给商户:卡片有效、持卡人的可用授信额度足以支付商品。这种验证通过与商户所在银行联网的信用卡支付终端或POS机系统完成。信用卡数据可由卡片上的磁条或芯片读取。芯片系统在英国和爱尔兰称为芯片和个人身份认证码系统,习惯性地叫EMV卡。

For card not present transactions where the card is not shown (e.g., e-commerce, mail order, and telephone sales), merchants additionally verify that the customer is in physical possession of the card and is the authorized user by asking for additional information such as the security code printed on the back of the card, date of expiry, and billing address.

因为信用卡离线交易时,不用出示卡片(比如,电子商务,邮件指令,电话销售),商户要额外验证消费者是否是卡片真正的拥有者,还要通过核对印在卡片后面的安全码、到期日期以及账单地址等额外信息后,才进行交易。

Each month, the credit card user is sent a statement indicating the purchases undertaken with the card, any outstanding fees, and the total amount owed. After receiving the statement, the cardholder may dispute any charges that he or she thinks are incorrect (see 15 U.S.C. § 1643, which limits cardholder liability for unauthorized use of a credit card to $50, and the Fair Credit Billing Act for details of the US regulations). Otherwise, the cardholder must pay a defined minimum proportion of the bill by a due date, or may choose to pay a higher amount up to the entire amount owed. The credit issuer charges interest on the amount owed if the balance is not paid in full (typically at a much higher rate than most other forms of debt). In addition, if the credit card user fails to make at least the minimum payment by the due date, the issuer may impose a "late fee" and/or other penalties on the user. To help mitigate this, some financial institutions can arrange for automatic payments to be deducted from the user's bank accounts, thus avoiding such penalties altogether as long as the cardholder has sufficient funds.

每个月,持卡人会收到一个对账单,包括用卡购买的事项、任何未支付的费用以及应还总额。收到对账单后, 持卡人可能对个别消费事项有异议,认为不对。(参见联邦法典第15条1643款,限定了持卡人未经授权最多使用50美元额度,美国信用卡消费公平法案中有详细阐述)。另外,持卡人必须在预定日期以事先约定的最小还款额还款,或者可以选择偿还更多欠款,甚至全部。信用卡发行机构向未全额还款的账户收取利息(通常比其他形式债务的利息高)。此外,如果持卡人在预定日期未达到最小还款额还款,发行机构就会向持卡人征收滞纳金和/或者其他的罚款。为了减少这种情况发生,部分金融机构允许持卡人绑定银行账户,进行约定还款,由此可避免这种整体罚款,只要持卡人(绑定银行账户)有足够的资金。

Advertising, solicitation, application and approval
Credit card advertising regulations include the Schumer box disclosure requirements. A large fraction of junk mail consists of credit card offers created from lists provided by the major credit reporting agencies. In the United States, the three major US credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) allow consumers to opt out from related credit card solicitation offers via its Opt Out Pre Screen program.

广告,营销,申请,批准

信用卡广告法规包括费用清单(这里Schumer box 是个典故,名字来源于首创信用卡披露费用清单法规的Charles Schumer)披露要求。绝大部分含有信用卡优惠内容的垃圾邮件,通常是根据主流信用报告机构提供的名单而发送。在美国,三家主要的征信机构(Equifax,环联,百利)允许消费者通过网站退订相关的信用卡优惠宣传材料。

利息征收

Credit card issuers usually waive interest charges if the balance is paid in full each month, but typically will charge full interest on the entire outstanding balance from the date of each purchase if the total balance is not paid.

如果持卡人能每月全额偿还欠款,发卡机构通常会免收利息,不过如果没有全额还款,发卡机构还是会对全部未偿金额(从后文看,此处应指全部消费金额)征收自消费日以来的利息。

For example, if a user had a $1,000 transaction and repaid it in full within this grace period, there would be no interest charged. If, however, even $1.00 of the total amount remained unpaid, interest would be charged on the $1,000 from the date of purchase until the payment is received. The precise manner in which interest is charged is usually detailed in a cardholder agreement which may be summarized on the back of the monthly statement. The general calculation formula most financial institutions use to determine the amount of interest to be charged is APR/100 x ADB/365 x number of days revolved. Take the annual percentage rate (APR) and divide by 100 then multiply to the amount of the average daily balance (ADB) divided by 365 and then take this total and multiply by the total number of days the amount revolved before payment was made on the account. Financial institutions refer to interest charged back to the original time of the transaction and up to the time a payment was made, if not in full, as RRFC or residual retail finance charge. Thus after an amount has revolved and a payment has been made, the user of the card will still receive interest charges on their statement after paying the next statement in full (in fact the statement may only have a charge for interest that collected up until the date the full balance was paid, i.e. when the balance stopped revolving).

举例来说,如果持卡人刷卡消费1000美元,并在免息期内全额还款,不会产生任何利息。然而,即使有1美元没还,(发卡机构)将会以1000美元为基数,征收自消费日以来的利息,直至全部还清。征收利息的精确数额,通常会被详细汇总在持卡人每月收到的对账单背面。大多数金融机构用以确定利息数额的计算公式是年利率/100x日平均余额/365x天数。拿年利率除以100,然后乘以日平均余额与365之商,再拿所得数乘以自消费日起直至清偿款到账前的总天数。金融机构从交易日起就开始计息,直至清偿日,如果没有全额还款,则计入RRFC或者余款财务费。因此,在账户重获循环额度及清偿欠款后,持卡人全额清偿了下一个对账单,仍会在对账单看到征收利息。(译者注:此句拗口,盼赐教!举个例子:假如账单日为每月10日,还款日为账单日后第25天。持卡人在1月10日消费1000元,在2月15日全额还款1000+12.5元,但在3月10日的对账单上仍会显示还有利息未还:1000*0.05% x <2月15日-1月10日)=2.5元 )(事实上,对账单显示征收利息直至全额还款,也就是,当余额不再循环为止)

The credit card may simply serve as a form of revolving credit, or it may become a complicated financial instrument with multiple balance segments each at a different interest rate, possibly with a single umbrella credit limit, or with separate credit limits applicable to the various balance segments. Usually this compartmentalization is the result of special incentive offers from the issuing bank, to encourage balance transfers from cards of other issuers. In the event that several interest rates apply to various balance segments, payment allocation is generally at the discretion of the issuing bank, and payments will therefore usually be allocated towards the lowest rate balances until paid in full before any money is paid towards higher rate balances. Interest rates can vary considerably from card to card, and the interest rate on a particular card may jump dramatically if the card user is late with a payment on that card or any other credit instrument, or even if the issuing bank decides to raise its revenue.

信用卡可被简单视作一种获得循环信用的途径,或者也可当做一个对欠款余额进行分段计息的复杂的金融工具,也可能仅对整体授信额度分段计息,又或者对不同的欠款余额区间授予的独立额度进行分段计息。通常来讲,发卡银行为了鼓励他行持卡人转用本行卡,会推出特别激励措施,上述差异化计息政策也就应运而生。如果对欠款余额采取分段计息,那么通常由发卡银行作出还款分配,因此所还款项通常会被指定应用最低档次的利息征收额,欠款清偿完毕前,不会被采用较高档次的利息征收额。利率水平因卡而异,如果持卡人迟还信用卡欠款或其他的信用工具,甚至假如发卡银行想提高收入的话,对特定卡种的利率会大幅下调。

Benefits to customers

消费者能得到的好处

The main benefit to each customer is convenience. Compared to debit cards and cheques, a credit card allows small short-term loans to be quickly made to a customer who need not calculate a balance remaining before every transaction, provided the total charges do not exceed the maximum credit line for the card. Credit cards also provide more fraud protection than debit cards. In the UK for example, the bank is jointly liable with the merchant for purchases of defective products over £100.[5]

对消费者而言最大的好处就是便利。相比签帐卡和支票,信用卡可迅速提供给消费者短期小额贷款,他们无需在每个交易前计算余额,提供的贷款总金额不超过信用卡的最大授信额度。信用卡比签帐卡具有更强的反欺诈能力。比如在英国,银行对商户出售劣质品承贷超过100英镑的连带责任。

Many credit cards offer rewards and benefits packages, such as offering enhanced product warranties at no cost, free loss/damage coverage on new purchases, and points which may be redeemed for cash, products, or airline tickets. Additionally, carrying a credit card may be a convenience to some customers as it eliminates the need to carry any cash for most purposes.

很多信用卡提供奖励报酬和福利套餐,比如为新产品提供无损、更换免费等强化产品质量的保证,提供可兑换现金、礼品或机票的积分服务。此外,对某些消费者来说,在大多数情况下,带张信用卡可减少携带现金的需要。

Detriments to customers

给消费者带来的弊端

High interest and bankruptcy 

高利率和破产

Low introductory credit card rates are limited to a fixed term, usually between 6 and 12 months, after which a higher rate is charged. As all credit cards charge fees and interest, some customers become so indebted to their credit card provider that they are driven to bankruptcy. Some credit cards often levy a rate of 20 to 30 percent after a payment is missed; in other cases a fixed charge is levied without change to the interest rate. In some cases universal default may apply: the high default rate is applied to a card in good standing by missing a payment on an unrelated account from the same provider. This can lead to a snowball effect in which the consumer is drowned by unexpectedly high interest rates. Further, most card holder agreements enable the issuer to arbitrarily raise the interest rate for any reason they see fit. As of December 2009, First Premier Bank is reportedly offering a credit card with a 79.9% interest rate.[6]

信用卡的低利息只适用于固定期限,通常为6-12个月,之后将会被征收高利。因为所有的信用卡均要收取费用和利息,一些持卡人因此变得负债累累而被迫执行破产。(如果)错过还款,部分信用卡通常会征收20-30%的利息。在其他情况下,不涉及更改利率水平的某些固定费用也要收取。在某些情况下,国际惯例是:如果持卡人的一张不相关的账户错过还款,发卡机构将对同样由本机构发行的持卡人名下还款记录良好的卡征收高利息。这会导致滚雪球效应,持卡人将会被不期而至的高利息淹没。进一步说,大多数持卡人协议允许发卡机构以任何他们觉得合适的理由,肆意提高利率。拿2009年12月来说,第一成功银行被指征收的信用卡利率达79.9%。

Inflated pricing for all consumers

Merchants that accept credit cards must pay interchange fees and discount fees on all credit-card transactions.[7][8] In some cases merchants are barred by their credit agreements from passing these fees directly to credit card customers, or from setting a minimum transaction amount (no longer prohibited in the United States).[9] The result is that merchants may charge all customers (including those who do not use credit cards) higher prices to cover the fees on credit card transactions.[8] In the United States in 2008 credit card companies collected a total of $48 billion in interchange fees, or an average of $427 per family, with an average fee rate of about 2% per transaction.[8]

消费者要承受的泡沫定价

可以受理信用卡的商户必须为所有的信用卡交易支付(信息)交互费和折扣费。有时候,商户(与发卡机构)签订的信用协定禁止他们直接将这些费用转嫁给消费者,或者设定一个最低消费额(在美国不再禁止)。这导致商户可能向消费者收取更高的价格,以弥补在信用卡交易上被征收的费用。2008年,美国的信用卡公司一共收取了480亿美元的交互费,相当于每个家庭收取427美元,每笔信用卡交易平均征收2%的费率。

Grace period

免息期

A credit card's grace period is the time the customer has to pay the balance before interest is assessed on the outstanding balance. Grace periods may vary, but usually range from 20 to 50 days depending on the type of credit card and the issuing bank. Some policies allow for reinstatement after certain conditions are met.

信用卡的免息期就是消费者在被征收利息前还债的这段时间。免息期长短不一,不过通常是20-50天,这得看信用卡的类型和发卡银行。在特定条件下还可以允许恢复(持卡人的免息期)(译者注:我猜这是否类似个人商业贷款,在出差或者下岗的这段时间,可以申请延长免息期。)。

Usually, if a customer is late paying the balance, finance charges will be calculated and the grace period does not apply. Finance charges incurred depend on the grace period and balance; with most credit cards there is no grace period if there is any outstanding balance from the previous billing cycle or statement (i.e. interest is applied on both the previous balance and new transactions). However, there are some credit cards that will only apply finance charge on the previous or old balance, excluding new transactions.

如果持卡人迟还欠款,通常会被计收财务费用,免息期也就不存在了。是否收取财务费用要看免息期限和欠款余额。对于大多数信用卡来说,如果上一个结算周期或对账单里哪怕有一丁点的欠账未还,那么他就不能享受免息期了。(举例:这将对上一期欠款和最新的消费都收取利息)。然而,有些信用卡只对上期或者更早的欠款收取财务费用,新发生的交易还是享有免息期的。

Benefits to merchants 

商户能得到的好处

For merchants, a credit card transaction is often more secure than other forms of payment, such as cheques, because the issuing bank commits to pay the merchant the moment the transaction is authorized, regardless of whether the consumer defaults on the credit card payment (except for legitimate disputes, which are discussed below, and can result in charges back to the merchant). In most cases, cards are even more secure than cash, because they discourage theft by the merchant's employees and reduce the amount of cash on the premises.

对商户来说,信用卡交易通常比支票等其他形式的支付方式更加安全,因为发卡银行承诺在授权交易的时候就支付消费款项给商户,不管消费者是否会拖欠信用卡欠款。(正常的纠纷除外,这会在后面讨论,它也会把收费款项退回给商户)。多数情况下,信用卡甚至比现金还安全,因为降低了商户员工盗窃的风险,减少了现金携带量。

Prior to credit cards, each merchant had to evaluate each customer's credit history before extending credit. That task is now performed by the banks which assume the credit risk. Credit cards can also aid in securing a sale, especially if the customer does not have enough cash on his or her person or checking account. Extra turnover is generated by the fact that the customer can purchase goods and/or services immediately and is less inhibited by the amount of cash in his or her pocket and the immediate state of his or her bank balance. Much of merchants' marketing is based on this immediacy.

更重要的是,在受理信用卡业务前,每个商户都要评估每个持卡人的信用历史。现在这个认定信贷风险的任务由发卡银行承担。信用卡也有助于保证出售交易,特别是如果持卡人或同伴或支票账户没有足够的现金时。持卡人可以快捷地购买商品和/或服务,不会为他/她随身带的现金量和他/她银行账户即时状态所限制,这样就会(为商户)带来额外的业务量。很多商户的促销活动都会针对(信用卡的)这种快捷性。

For each purchase, the bank charges the merchant a commission (discount fee) for this service and there may be a certain delay before the agreed payment is received by the merchant. The commission is often a percentage of the transaction amount, plus a fixed fee (interchange rate). In addition, a merchant may be penalized or have their ability to receive payment using that credit card restricted if there are too many cancellations or reversals of charges as a result of disputes. Some small merchants require credit purchases to have a minimum amount to compensate for the transaction costs.

对于每笔购买交易,银行都会为此向商户收取手续费(折扣费),在商户收到同意付款前,可能会有一定延迟。这种手续费通常是按交易金额的百分率收取,外加一个固定的费用(交互费率)。此外,如果有太多因纠纷而产生的交易取消或退款的话,商户可能受罚或被限制使用信用卡受理渠道。一些小商户为持卡消费设立最低消费额,以补偿交易成本。

In some countries, for example the Nordic countries, banks guarantee payment on stolen cards only if an ID card is checked and the ID card number/civic registration number is written down on the receipt together with the signature. In these countries merchants therefore usually ask for ID. Non-Nordic citizens, who are unlikely to possess a Nordic ID card or driving license, will instead have to show their passport, and the passport number will be written down on the receipt, sometimes together with other information. Some shops use the card's PIN for identification, and in that case showing an ID card is not necessary.

在某些国家,比如北欧国家,银行对失窃卡的保证支付是有条件的:只有当使用ID卡支付以及ID卡号/公民登记号被显示在有消费者签名的签购单上时才有效。在这些国家,商户通常要求使用ID卡刷卡。没有北欧ID卡或驾证的非北欧国家居民,不得不出示他们的护照来代替(前述证件),护照号码将会被列印在签购单上,有时候还附带其他的信息。某些商铺使用卡片的PIN(个人认证码)码来验证,如果那样的话就不用出示ID卡了。

 

译者注:

初译者小感:

1.真正翻译起来,才会明显感觉到因语言习惯不同,导致中英表述的逻辑顺序大相径庭。在以往注重英语阅读理解的情境中,还没有体认到如此强烈的差异感。

2.英文的表述有时候很罗嗦,前后句意思重复严重。但在某些句子中,相关要素又省略得无以复加。我的理解,文化背景是很重要的因素-----好比我们说中石化内部很腐败,大家都很明白,不用再细加解释。因为此前的董事长下台、天价吊灯及最近的省级一把手丑闻等消息,大家都会通过日常媒体报道获悉,再潜移默化。而英文信息的输出,同样基于这个逻辑,它潜在的前提是读者已经持续生活在英语文化的国家而且接受到日常新闻信息的“轰炸”。在作者心中,根本想不到也没必要考虑到这个逻辑。一言以蔽之,文化背景差异需要通过长期、持续地关注来部分解决。

3.有时候心里能理解英文所要表达的意思,但很难用中文转达原意,或只能通过意译来作软处理。主要难点在长句的拆分,通常伴有被动句、which+、that+之类从句以及with+之类补语。

4.很多生词,还是不得不依靠google字典,词汇量啊.....

5.革命尚未成功,同志仍需努力。与志同道合者共勉!

参考文献编辑本段回目录

http://article.yeeyan.org/view/219486/191007

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