VFC Owner, Bob Hill
As most people who frequent the Viroqua Food Co-op, I engage in conversation with staff on a multitude of subjects. On one of these occasions I learned that when purchasing a cup of coffee with a credit or debit card, nearly all of the margin is taken to pay the fee associated with the privilege of using a card. As most people would, I wondered what could be done to avoid the fee or lessen the impact. I could carry cash, write a check, or be subject to a minimum purchase amount for using a card.
Then an amazing question was asked. “Why not use a gift card?” On the surface it seemed like it would be an inconvenience –you know, another card to carry, another balance to keep track of. In actuality, after using one for several weeks I found that it is more convenient. No signature needed, the same behavior of pulling out a card to pay and the added benefit of budgeting. I now load up the card at the beginning of each month and use it for nearly every transaction. Each time I use it I know the remaining balance.
I have no idea how much this has saved the Co-op, but as my daddy always told me, a penny saved is a penny earned.