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Consumers

Big banks want Congress to let them continue to raise credit card swipe fees.

 

  • Don’t let Visa and MasterCard undo swipe fee reform.  
  • Don’t let the big banks hurt small businesses and consumers again.

 

American consumers pay around $80 billion a year in credit and debit card swipe fees. Your hard-earned money goes to banks and credit card companies for the right to swipe your card and even consumers who don't use plastic pay more through higher prices.

That's why we need your help to make sure that swipe fee reforms are put into place so that we can put an end to credit card company price fixing. It's time to bring competition and transparency to swipe fees.

Congress enacted legislation to reform debit card swipe fees, which helped fix a broken marketplace that allowed Visa and MasterCard to collude to set fee prices. Much more needs to be done. In its implementation of the debit reform legislation, the Federal Reserve only reduced debit card swipe fees from 42 to 21 cents a swipe, even though the Fed acknowledges it costs only 4 cents to process a debit card transaction. Meanwhile, there are those in Congress who want to roll back the consumer discounts resulting from the debit swipe fee reduction and give your hard-earned money right back to the big banks.

If you want to say yes to customer discounts and yes to a competitive marketplace, here is how you can help:

The swipe fee is a percentage of each transaction that Visa and MasterCard collect from retailers every time a credit or debit card is used to pay for a purchase. Nearly $2 of every $100 American consumers spend using credit cards goes directly to the credit card industry through the swipe fee, the hidden fee that is charged every time you use a credit or debit card. 

Interchange is the biggest credit card fee you've never heard of. Americans pay more in swipe fees than they do in late fees. In fact, swipe fees cost us more than credit card annual fees, cash advance fees, over-the-limit fees, and late fees combined. And since 2001 alone, credit card interchange fees have risen 300%!

American consumers pay the highest credit card interchange fees in the industrialized world, three times what British consumers pay. In Britain and some other industrialized countries, credit card interchange fees are viewed as unjustified and harmful to competition. Some countries, including the EU, are taking steps to deal with credit card interchange fees even though the fees consumers pay overseas are much lower than what Americans pay. The United States lags far behind the British, the European Community, and our other major trading partners in terms of grappling with this threat to open markets and free competition.