ICYMI: Senator Marshall Joins Press Conference on Swipe Fees

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. held a press conference on swipe fees with Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Peter Welch (D-VT), Merchants Payments Coalition and small business owners from across the country, including Jimmy Holland of Associated Wholesale Grocers in Kansas City, to discuss their bipartisan legislation that would enhance competition and choice in the credit card network market, which is currently dominated by the Visa-Mastercard duopoly. 

You may click HERE or on the image above to watch Senator Marshall’s full remarks. 

Highlights from Senator Marshall’s remarks include:

“The folks in Kansas, the folks in Illinois, the folks in Vermont are paying seven times what they’re charging people in the European Union, these big banks, this duopoly has increased their fees. They’ve netted from going from $10 billion a year to over $90 billion a year since 2010.”

“But after that cost, the swipe fees are more than they’re paying for utilities, more than they’re paying for rent, more than they’re paying for health care. Retail companies across Main Street across America have a profit margin, usually around 1%, or 1.5%. These swipe fees are inflation multipliers. I think it makes perfect sense. If you’re paying 3% for $2 a gallon gas versus 3% tax on a $5 a gallon of gas, that’s an inflation multiplier. 

“Everywhere across the state of Kansas, what I hear folks are concerned about whether you’re a young family starting off with two kids at home, or you’re a senior citizen living on Social Security, check the Social Security check. Their biggest challenge is just paying for groceries, paying for gasoline and these Visa credit card swipe fees do an inflation multiplier to an already tough situation.

“Anyone that votes against the Marshall-Durbin amendment is voting for Wall Street. They’re picking Wall Street over Main Street. I’m here today to support Main Street America.”

Jimmy Holland, Associated Wholesale Grocers in Kansas City, KS remarks include:

“I’m proud to represent Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) based in Senator Marshall’s home state of Kansas. We serve 1,100 local grocers and the tens of thousands of customers that shop with them on a daily basis. They have stores in over 30 states including Kansas, and those states across the Midwest and the Mid South. AWG and its local grocers strongly support the Credit Card Competition Act because it fixes a broken system and it provides relief to grocers and retailers alike.”

“Local grocers are the lifeblood of their communities. And they’re getting squeezed every day by swipe fees. If you take a look at a normal grocery basket, and there’s $100 worth of a sale in that, a local grocer on average is hoping to make about $2 on that $100 sale. That’s not a very high margin at all. Visa and MasterCard charge between $2 and $4 just to transmit the transaction for that sale. So if you look at how they’re being squeezed – Visa and MasterCard are charging equal to or double what our local grocers are just hoping to make on the same transaction. It’s not fair. It can’t keep going. It has to stop. But we need Congress’s help to do that. local grocers have got to have that help. The bipartisan credit card Competition Act does just that.”