Saturday, October 3, 2009

time to take credit/VISA vs. MasterCard

In a Capitalist World, there are rules against monopolies, therefore one thing always mimics another. The resulting Competition supposedly keeps Companies on their toes and provides Consumers with better Everything.
Visa and MasterCard are two equivalent entities, working against each other side by side. According to my research, there is no discernible difference whatsoever between the two. Neither is trying to buy out the other; all stores accept both. From time to time one or the other puts out a smear campaign against American Express, yet both continue to exist in seeming harmony.
To understand this quirky burst of Capitalist cooperation, I decided I'd make my own versions of each. Essentially, I'd be playing bank, issuing myself two new lines of symbolic credit.
For Visa, the original credit card created by Bank of America in 1958 and launched with an unsolicited mailing to 60,000 people, I used old pennies, which are exclusively copper in composition.
For MasterCard, which was formed by a conglomeration of other banks in 1966, I used new, zinc-alloy pennies.
The backs of each card are basically similar, aside from a slight difference in the thickness of the magnetic stripes.
For the Mastercard I used Quarters, as it's seen greater growth in its life. For the Visa, Nickels. Basically, everytime we swipe, one of these two gets royalties. Imagine owning publishing rights not only for the Beatles catalog, but also for the catalog for everything ever sold. Talk about easy money.
When a patina was applied, it reacted very differently to both.
So who wins?
To me it seems like a toss-up. I guess that will be determined by their individual credit limits, ie: whatever I can sell them for.
That price, however, is yet to be decided. So now I find myself doing something I swore I'd never again do: signing up for 2 more credit cards, without reading the fine print. Luckily, these are issued by the bank of Me, and consequently not subject to the insane fees and stipulations of the normal cards. I wonder: is an artist allowed to monopolize this kind of thing?

buy it on EBay

No comments: