Infographic: The Hidden Plastic Economy


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Merchant Negotiators sent us this infographic along with a description:

Have you ever wondered what happens after you swipe your credit card for a sale? Who pays, how much, and why? For the average person, the hidden world of credit card processing is a complete mystery, but following the trail of money is fascinating.

For example, did you know that its actually the merchant who is paying for the rewards in your rewards card, or that the reason businesses are hassling you to enter your PIN is because it lowers their fees by up to 95%?

In this infographic you’ll see behind the scenes in the credit card processing industry, and you’ll never look at a simple credit card transaction the same way again.

This infographic utilizes data visualization, text, and some iconography to help tell its story. It’s certainly successful in a few spots, and could be improved with a few quick tips.

When organizing a pie chart, go from least to most or most to least, rather than mixing them up. This is easier to follow and compare, and looks cleaner both in the chart design and in the key when translating the colors and percentages.

Another good test of a solid infographic is if you can replace all the text with Lorem Ipsum and still know what the design is about. In this case, we wouldn’t know until the very last section, and even then we wouldn’t be certain. Iconography and illustration as well as colors and even typography can help create a unified, thematic look.

However, the infographic does contain some useful information and keeps text fairly short, which are also components of a great infographic. In all I’d give it a B- as it could use a design makeover to fit the theme a bit better, and could better utilize data visualization as well to be more intuitive.

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