August 05, 2022
The swipe fees banks charge retailers to process credit cards will add an estimated $2.5 billion to the cost of everything, according to the Merchants Payments Coalition. That amounts to almost $20 in swipe fees for the average family, according to a press release from the coalition, or the price of a lunch box. "Swipe fees are a hidden tax on almost everything Americans buy regardless of whether they pay with cards or cash," MPC executive committee member and National Association of Convenience Stores General Counsel Doug Kantor said in the release.
August 04, 2022
Despite pushback from smaller financial institutions, experts with the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Merchants Payments Coalition are emphasizing the bill's focus on the larger organizations and the possible benefits for store owners. Doug Kantor, general counsel for the convenience store group and a member of the payments coalition, explained that costs can be lowered by promoting competition among card networks and larger financial institutions. "Our view is still that a competitive market is better for everyone, where smaller institutions like credit unions are already disadvantaged in the marketplace. … I think [credit unions] might welcome a more competitive marketplace that would potentially give them a better opportunity to compete when larger issuers would have requirements that they wouldn't have," Kantor said.
August 01, 2022
Merchants and some experts are optimistic that the bill could eventually make credit card fees more affordable. “If one network lowers its swipe fees, merchants will favour that network and others will do the same in order to compete,” said Doug Kantor, executive committee member of the Merchants Payments Coalition (MPC) and general counsel of the National Association of Convenience Stores. “Routing choice means market forces will govern swipe fees and the market will eventually settle on rates that are fair to merchants, banks, card networks and consumers alike,” Kantor told VIXIO.
July 29, 2022
The bill is already touching off a continuation of the battle that has long pitted retailers and merchants on one side against the card networks and the bank issuers on the other. While supporters of the bill, such as the Merchant Payments Coalition, said it’s likely to attract bi-partisan support, given its reliance on competition to address high fees, long-time detractors of such moves, including the Electronic Payments Coalition, have already expressed concerns about the bill and appear unlikely to back it.
July 29, 2022
Citing Atlanta-based payments consulting firm CMSPI, the Merchants Payments Coalition noted that competition in the area of credit card processing could save merchants and customers $11 billion or more annually. A 2010 federal law similarly requiring routing choice for debit cards has saved merchants an estimated $9.4 billion a year, with 70% of savings passed along to consumers, the coalition said.
July 29, 2022
The Merchants Payments Coalition lobbied for the bill. Representatives said it could help lower costs for both merchants and consumers already impacted by high inflation. Doug Kantor, an executive committee member for the coalition, told Bloomberg that the bill could create $11 billion in overall savings.
July 29, 2022
The Merchants Payments Coalition welcomed the introduction of bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senators Richard Durbin and Roger Marshall that would let merchants choose which payments networks process credit card transactions, saying the measure would create long-sought competition that could save businesses and consumers billions of dollars a year. “This landmark bill would end a part of the Visa-Mastercard duopoly that has blocked competition for decades,” MPC Executive Committee member and National Association of Convenience Stores General Counsel Doug Kantor said.
July 28, 2022
Doug Kantor, general counsel for the National Association of Convenience Stores, testified at the hearing in support of merchant efforts to push back against interchange fees. In a Wednesday interview, he said the coming bill was never envisioned as a vehicle to create a cap on credit fees as the Durbin Amendment did for debit, but he acknowledges the legislation is the product of compromise. Kantor, also an executive member of the Merchants Payments Coalition, said he believes the bill will have “broad bipartisan support” from Congress members, given its reliance on competition to drive fees lower. The MPC on Thursday tweeted this statement: The “bill brings badly needed competition to soaring #creditcard #swipefees.” “It’s very hard, even for the credit card industry, to object to having a basic level of competition, just like every other business has to deal with,” Kantor said of the new legislation.
July 27, 2022
“For the retailers, it means everything,” said Leon Buck, vice president for government relations for banking and financial services at the National Retail Federation. “It would allow us to negotiate a fairer, lesser, more equitable price.” Take convenience stores, which are known for razor-thin margins. NACS -- a trade group representing the industry -- said swipe fees climbed 26% for the industry in 2021 compared to the year earlier and another 33% in the first quarter alone. “Our estimate is that having basic competition ought to be about $11 billion in savings overall,” said Doug Kantor, general counsel for NACS and an executive committee member for the Merchants Payments Coalition trade group. “You ought to see a vast majority of that going to consumers.”
July 27, 2022
The Merchants Payments Coalition, a Washington-based organization representing retailers, said credit card interchange rates have been steadily increasing in recent years, despite improvements in digital technology. Credit card swipe fees currently amount to about 2% per credit card transaction, costing merchants about $138 billion last year, the MPC said.