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Swipe Fees are Most Retailers' Highest Costs After Labor

Retail Leader

U.S. retailers and merchants pay the highest swipe fees in the world – $126.4 billion in swipe fees were paid by businesses for credit card transactions in 2022, a 20% increase from the previous year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). In turn, on Sept. 18 the NRF announced a six-figure advocacy campaign to urge members of Congress to support the Credit Card Competition Act. The Credit Card Competition Act would require that there be at least two competing processing networks enabled on each card, potentially saving American businesses and consumers an estimated $15 billion per year, the NRF said.

The announcement follows new NRF consumer data that found less than one-quarter (21%) of consumers believe that credit card companies are honest and trustworthy when they advocate before Congress on the fees they charge retailers to accept their cards. The majority of consumers (81%) support federal legislation that would allow for greater competition to lower credit card fees for small businesses, according to a NRF survey.

Specifically, nearly two-thirds of likely voters also support credit card swipe fee reform, according to a new survey released today by the Merchants Payments Coalition (MPC).

“These numbers show that bringing competition to out-of-control swipe fees is a priority for consumers, not just merchants,” MPC Executive Committee member and National Association of Convenience Stores General Counsel Doug Kantor said. “Consumers are increasingly aware that swipe fees drive up the prices of everything they buy and are going nowhere but up. They want Congress to stand up against global credit card networks and Wall Street banks and put American families first. Regardless of political affiliation or age, consumers want lawmakers to pass the Credit Card Competition Act.”

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