Senators are urging credit card giants Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. to cancel plans to raise their swipe fees charged to retailers and used reports on the plans to champion their bill to force competition in the industry.
(Bloomberg) — Senators are urging credit card giants Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. to cancel plans to raise their swipe fees charged to retailers and used reports on the plans to champion their bill to force competition in the industry.
Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, and Roger Marshall, a Kansas Republican, the lead sponsors of the Credit Card Competition Act, said Wednesday that the companies were already raking in fees that contribute to inflation.
“With small businesses and families already dealing with high prices on groceries and gasoline, this hidden credit card fee increase couldn’t come at a worse time,” the senators said in a statement.
Their measure would require the largest banks to offer a choice of networks for processing transactions, including one outside of Visa or Mastercard. Durbin successfully helped enact legislation in 2010 that led to much lower fees for debit card transactions.
Read More: Visa, Mastercard Plan to Add New Card Fees in the Coming Months
The swipe fee battle has already resulted in fierce lobbying, given the legislation’s potential to crimp revenue for the payment giants and for banks, while benefitting retailers, though it’s not clear if the issue will advance in this Congress.
The Nilson Report, an industry publication, found that merchants paid out $160.7 billion in swipe fees last year, while the merchant-consulting company CMSPI estimated the new fees could cost them another $500 million a year.
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