NACS and the NMA encourages its members to help in the fight for the passage of this bill. Retailers and supporters can assist by calling or sending a message to legislators. Click here to write a letter/call Members of Congress to co-sponsor the Credit Card Competition Act.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic Americans have shifted from using cash to credit and debit cards. This transition has caused financial consequences to many main street businesses. This issue arises because every time a payment card is used, fees are charged to the retailer, and these fees have been increasing at an alarming amount. The financial burdens are exacerbated during inflationary times.
Visa and Mastercard control about 80% of the credit card volume in the United States causing retailers to have no choice but to accept these cards. Visa and Mastercard set the prices and terms for a multitude of banks that issue their credit cards, despite the fact that the biggest swipe fees go to the bank that issued the card. Banks should compete on their swipe fee prices, but the don’t. Eventually this leads swipe fees to increase year after year and U.S. merchants and consumers pay more in credit card fees than other nations.
Many retailers and single-store operators have witnessed a historic jump in their swipe fees as inflation and gas prices continue to rise. In 2021, overall card fees paid by the convenience store industry was $13.5 billion. For many retailers, these swipe fee costs exceed their pre-tax profits, becoming the 2nd highest operating cost for these businesses.
Fast forward to 2022, The Credit Card Competition Act, a bipartisan, bicameral legislation, would bring competition to the credit card marketplace by creating a choice for the processing of credit card purchases by requiring the largest U.S. banks that issue Visa or Mastercard credit cards to allow transactions to be processed over at least two unaffiliated card payment networks. CMSPI, a payment consulting firms, estimated that credit card competition would save $11 billion per year for American consumers and businesses.