The U.S. payments industry should be more transparent in order to bring about competition.

March 29, 2021

The swipe fees set by Visa and Mastercard vary according to type of card, type of transaction and size of merchant, with hundreds of combinations possible. That makes them difficult to understand even for payments experts, and merchants don’t know how much they are paying for a particular transaction at the time of purchase. In addition, the fees are hidden from consumers, with merchants unable to include them on receipts and banks failing to disclose them on monthly credit card bills. Making the fees transparent would be the first step toward bringing about competition.