ICYMI: Marshall Urges Visa, Mastercard to protect Americans’ wallets, call off fee increases

(Washington, D.C., April 18, 2022) – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. recently joined Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and U.S. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Beth Van Duyne (R-TX) in sending a bipartisan, bicameral letter to the CEOs of Visa and Mastercard urging the companies not to proceed with plans to raise their interchange fee rates. In case you missed it, here is what they are saying:

Wall Street Journal: Lawmakers are urging companies to call off plans for raising card fees on merchants

…The two big payments networks are planning this month to raise the fees that many large merchants pay when they accept consumers’ credit cards, The Wall Street Journal previously reported. In a letter sent to the networks Friday, lawmakers said the fee increases would ultimately trickle down to shoppers who are already struggling with runaway inflation. Higher costs are “the last thing American families deserve right now,” wrote Mr. Durbin, an Illinois Democrat. The letter, which was reviewed by the Journal, was also signed by Republican Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas, Democratic Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont, and Republican Rep. Beth Van Duyne of Texas. The fees the lawmakers referenced aren’t paid directly by consumers. Instead, clothing stores, restaurants and other merchants pay so-called interchange fees whenever a customer pays by card. Visa and Mastercard set interchange fees, which are pocketed by card issuers. Merchants can pass them along to customers in the form of higher prices…

CBS Topeka: Legislators urge Visa, Mastercard to protect Americans’ wallets, call off fee increases

A bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators have urged Visa and Mastercard to not further damage Americans’ wallets with proposed fee increases. U.S. Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) says he joined Senate Majority Whip and Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), as well as U.S. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Beth Van Duyne (R-TX) to send a letter to the CEOs of Visa and Mastercard. Marshall said the letter sent on Friday, April 15, urges the companies to not proceed with plans to raise their interchange fee rates. In 2021, the Nilson Report indicated Visa and Mastercard charged merchants $77.48 billion in credit card fees and $28.06 billion in debit card fees. These fees, the majority of which are interchange fees, he said are deducted out of transaction amounts for credit and debit card purchases. The fees are taken out on customers through higher prices for goods and services… “We urge you to withdraw your plan to raise credit and debit card fees on American business owners and hard-working American families. As Americans are dealing with the highest rate of inflation in decades, your profits are already high enough and any further fee increase is simply taking advantage of vulnerable Americans,” the legislators said in the letter. The move comes as inflation reaches the highest its been since the 80s

National Grocers Association: Thank you @SenatorDurbin, @RogerMarshallMD, @PeterWelch, and @RepBethVanDuyne for calling on Visa and Mastercard to forego their April fee increases that would hurt independent grocers and our customers who are already dealing with the costs of inflation.

Senator Dick Durbin: This Friday, Visa & Mastercard plan to increase swipe fee rates that they impose on many American businesses & their customers. Higher swipe fees hurt vulnerable Americans.

Representative Beth Van Duyne: .@SenatorDurbin and @SenatorMarshall @PeterWelch & I today wrote @Mastercard & @Visa urging them to cancel their upcoming transaction rate hikes. This cost to businesses, passed to consumers already struggling with record inflation will do nothing but hurt working families.

National Retail Federation: Retailers Join Bipartisan Lawmakers in Calling for Visa and Mastercard to Withdraw Credit Card Swipe Fee Increases

“American consumers are struggling under the worst inflation in four decades and these increases would only make the situation worse,” NRF Vice President for Government Relations, Banking and Financial Services Leon Buck said. “Swipe fees are a percentage of the transaction, so banks and card networks are already receiving an unearned windfall as they piggyback on higher prices. They’re going to see billions of dollars more in revenue this year even if rates stay the same, so an increase would only add insult to injury.” “Senators and representatives from both sides of the aisle coming together to address this issue shows that Congress recognizes the impact these fees are having on the small businesses and consumers they represent,” Buck said. “These fees drive up prices for consumers and affect shoppers in every congressional district and state in the country. We stand with lawmakers who are willing to take the side of Main Street over Wall Street.” On Friday, Senators Roger Marshall, R-Kan., and Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., and Representatives Beth Van Duyne, R-Texas, and Peter Welch, D-Vt., sent a letter to Visa and Mastercard asking that they withdraw plans to implement a package of swipe fee increases this month. The estimated $1.2 billion in increases were scheduled to take effect in April 2021 but were postponed by a year after Durbin and Welch said they were ill-timed as the economy was struggling to recover from the pandemic.