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To lower costs, such as interchange, associated with accepting card payments, some merchants are using point-of-sale steering methods to encourage consumers to use less-costly forms of payment, such as cash, checks or PIN-debit cards instead of signature-debit or credit cards, according to a recent report from Boston-based Aite Group LLC. The rates associated with accepting PIN-debit payments typically are lower than those for signature-debit or credit cards. Twenty-eight percent of 160 merchants Aite surveyed said they use a form of steering at the point of sale to reduce processing costs, according to the report "Mapping Opportunities in Merchant Acquiring." An additional 5% of respondents believe they likely will steer consumers toward other payment forms. Sixty-seven percent had not practiced payment steering and do not expect to do so in the future, according to the report.

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