Visa Inc. is delaying plans to raise the swipe fees paid by certain U.S. merchants each time a customer uses a credit card in-store as the coronavirus pandemic continues to crimp commerce across the country.
The network told merchants this month it will leave consumer credit card-present retail rates unchanged, citing the pandemic’s effects on in-store shopping, according to a document seen by Bloomberg. A spokesman for Visa declined to comment.
Visa had planned to make the biggest changes to swipe fees in a decade this year, with higher rates planned for transactions on e-commerce sites. Some retailers, such as those in real estate or education, were set to see such fees decline.
The network opted to delay the changes as the pandemic took hold across the U.S., forcing consumers to stay inside and crimping transactions on the firm’s network. The planned changes will now happen in April 2021.
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The Strawhecker Group (TSG) and Visa Consulting & Analytics (VCA) teamed up to survey a representative sample of U.S. consumers, and analyzed Visa’s proprietary spend data, with the goal of understanding how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted consumer lifestyles, payments trends, and how behaviors may change after the pandemic.