Outdoor Hospitality Industry Joins Merchants Payments Coalition

Contact: J. Craig Shearman
(202) 257-3678

WASHINGTON, May 30, 2023 – The Merchants Payments Coalition announced today that OHI, the national voice of the Outdoor Hospitality Industry, which represents recreational vehicle parks, campgrounds and “glamping” businesses, has joined the coalition.

“Whether they’re pitching a tent, pulling up in an RV or going upscale with glamping, most camping consumers enjoying the outdoors pay by credit card the same as they do everywhere else,” OHI President and CEO Paul Bambei said. “The vast majority of our members are small, independent businesses and having the card industry take a slice out of every payment adds to their struggle to make a profit. People who go camping shouldn’t be burdened by higher prices caused by high swipe fees, and banks and card companies should have to compete the same as our members do every day.”

OHI (formerly known as the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds) is a community of more than 3,000 member businesses nationwide, roughly 86 percent of which are independently owned.

“It shows the reach of credit cards into every part of our society when you realize that even a campground isn’t immune from swipe fees and the impact they have on the economy,” MPC Executive Committee member and National Association of Convenience Stores General Counsel Doug Kantor said. “We welcome the support of OHI as merchants from Main Street to the mountains work to bring competition to the broken swipe fee market.”

OHI joins MPC as Congress is considering the Credit Card Competition Act, which is aimed at rising credit card swipe fees.

Visa and Mastercard – which control more than 80 percent of the market – each centrally set swipe fees charged by all banks that issue cards under their brands, and also block transactions from being processed over other networks that could do the job with lower fees and better security. The legislation would require banks with at least $100 billion in assets to enable cards they issue to be processed over at least two unaffiliated networks – Visa or Mastercard plus a competitor like NYCE, Star or Shazam. That would make networks compete over fees, security and service and is expected to save merchants and their customers
$16.4 billion a year.

Credit and debit card swipe fees have more than doubled over the past decade and hit a record $172.05 billion last year. For most outdoor hospitality businesses, credit card fees are one of the highest operating costs after labor, insurance and utilities.

Current MPC national association members include the American Beverage Licensees, the American Booksellers Association, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, the Coalition of Franchisee Associations, FMI – the Food Industry Association, the Energy Marketers of America, the Independent Restaurant Coalition, the Institute for Local Self Reliance’s Independent Business Initiative, the International Franchise Association, the Merchant Advisory Group, the National Association of College Stores, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the National Association of Theatre Owners, the National Association of Truck Stop Operators, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the National Grocers Association, the National Lumber and Building Materials Dealers Association, the National Retail Federation, the National Restaurant Association, the National Sporting Goods Association and the Retail Industry Leaders Association. In addition to national associations, hundreds of state merchant associations are also members.

About MPC
Merchants Payments Coalition represents retailers, supermarkets, convenience stores, gasoline stations, online merchants and others fighting for a more competitive and transparent card system that is fair to consumers and merchants. Follow MPC on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn for the latest on swipe fees.

About OHI
OHI is a member-driven organization dedicated to serving and advancing the RV parks, campgrounds and glamping businesses that make up the Outdoor Hospitality Industry. We provide the voice, tools, and training to advance the owners, operators, and staff of all the remarkable and unique outdoor hospitality businesses that shape the life-long memories of their adventuring customers. Visit ohi.org for more information.