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American Express & Small Business

Before investigating, I found it strange that some small businesses don’t—won’t—accept American Express (AmEx) and I wanted to understand why that is.   Being a card member with American Express for almost 9 years, Its now an unnoticed habit to ask if AmEx is accepted. Usually it’s during a visit to a small businesses I’m new to, I’ll politely ask. Usually, my card’s welcomed without question, but not always. Some small businesses won’t accept my method for payment, causing me to either leave empty handed or scrambling for cash. These situations are not only inconvenient but also annoying. So out of pure irritation and a little curiosity, I began my quest for truth.   I started with the businesses; over the course of this summer, I asked a number of merchants, who didn’t accept AmEx, why they’re resistant towards welcoming the service. I found their responses to be...dubious, at best. The most common feedback I heard was “their processing fees cost too much.” So I decided to research the cost of these services and here is what I found.   When comparing the processing fees between the legacy brands of Visa, MasterCard, and Novus Discover to American Express, I contacted five cars processing companies by phone to obtain the differences in cost. Now there’s a few factors that play into a merchants processing costs, such as the business location, size, type, along with the contract term, method of payment capture, signing incentives, and so on. However, there’s a baseline which most small business owners pay into. For this, I will focus on the most common method for payment, ‘card present in-person’ transactions. I also exclusively examined the processing percentage fees. Each processing percentage fee shown here is applied per transaction: Visa 1.29% + 5¢ to 2.54% + 10¢; MasterCard 1.29% + 5¢ to 2.64% + 10¢; Discover 1.53% + 5¢ to 2.539% + 10¢; American Express 1.58% + 10¢ to 3.3% + 10¢. Most small businesses pay the highest percentage rate, to each processing company’s price spread. Large businesses like hyper-markets, department stores, and supermarkets, pay the lowest percentage rate.  So what’s my take on small businesses choosing to not accept AmEx? I find their reasoning behind it stupid and foolish.  Turning away a customer over 0.64% is beyond senseless. Sure, it does cost more to process American Express but with the average markup for a merchants product / service being over 80%, there must be a bias against the processor because of prior issues.  


Sources:  Flagship merchant, Pauline data, American Express, TSYS Merchant solutions,  Helcium


© 2020 Patrick Cain, All Rights Reserved.
Why Mask Wearing is Important & How they Function

The purpose of this article is to inform those who have been mislead wrongful information and need clarification.

COVID-19 is changing every human-being that currently resides on God's green earth.
Within six months, the world is now a different place. From how we socialize to the loss of innocent life, this pandemic event is terrible.

To return our previous way of life, we must listen to our American experts who know these creatures better than we know ourselves.
We need to stand together and flight.

In this posting, I will be discussing the highly questioned topic on public mask wearing. I will give a basic background on why masks were chosen for use, followed an explanation behind the purpose for wearing a mask, and why masks are important.


History--In the past:
Wearing a mask to protect the spread of disease is nothing new. Masks and facial coverings have been worn by medical professionals and amateurs of the general public for centuries. Though, in those times, they carried no knowledge in the existence of bacteria and viruses. However, through trial and error, members of the public discovered that spreading sicknesses from one person to another was slowed when their nose and mouth were covered in the presence of others.

Modern day:
Advancements in technology have allowed the general public to become protected from diseases from the horrors of the middle-ages. With a better understanding to the world around us, medicine extended the live expectancy of people from 26 years old to 83 years old. But to live this long is not natural. Our lives continue and age because of science and technology within the medical community. Even today, a person may die in their twenties from common illnesses like pneumonia, rotten teeth, or syphilis, but only if medical treatment is refused.
Currently the human race is experiencing a rotten gift from Mother Nature -- influenza. These viruses come in many shapes and sizes, they consist of diverse constructions, and some medical theorists today debate whether viruses are "living beings."

Viral Transportation:
One thing to note about viruses is their mode of transportation. They cannot exist for long, without a transport medium. Such substances, which a virus may transport itself in, is the saliva (your spit), mucus (the wet slippery coating inside the lungs and going up to the nasal passages), bile (feces), urine, blood, and internal fluids. They uses these mediums for transport to move from one host (a person) to another. Why? Because, like all creatures, their basic instinct is to survive and thrive through basic reproduction.


Plain and simple, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Masks, which cover the nose and mouth, absorb the moisture being exhaled from a persons breath. The moisture is what carries COVID-19.
Any tightly woven cloth will effectively work. The mask you wear does not need to be of medical grade because a tightly woven cloths were found to work equally well. Though they do not work perfectly, cloth masks catch roughly 90% of the water vapor being exhaled. The remaining 10% concentration the cloth mask failed to catch will diminish to a level that will not get a person sick. But the moment that mask is removed, 100% of the virus is being broadcasted out nearly 20 feet per breath.


But I'm not sick:
Not always true. You may be infected with COVID-19 and not know it, because your body has not alerted you yet.
Unfortunately COVID-19 takes longer to spread around the body, during its initial presence. Once this virus spreads itself throughout the body, it will then strike. It attacks all your internal organs, such as your brain, lungs, heart, liver, kidneys...everything. It is horrifying. It's painful. It's deadly. And it took over the earth in 4 weeks. If people wore masks from the start; if people took this pandemic event more seriously, this virus would've died off back in November 2019. But it's not too late! COVID-19 is here to stay until we engineer a cocktail of medicines to help our bodies destroy it. Until we develop a true cure, wearing the mask will stop COVID-19 from spreading.


All in all, why pretend to know everything about something which you have no knowledge in?
Listen to what your primary doctor tells you. Ask questions, be very open minded, and take notes to remember by.

Any questions, do not ask for answers here. Instead, schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor and ask them. I cannot stress that enough. Do not take medical advice from any politician. Do not take any medical advice from any news agency. Ask YOUR doctor because they trained for 10 years so you didn't have to. (Be sure to also take note of what your doctor is wearing, when they enter the room. Ask them, should I be wearing the same level of protection when I'm around other people too?)

I hope this information helps and wish you good luck throughout this medical crisis.

© 2020 Patrick Cain, All Rights Reserved.