Grocers Protest Interchange Hikes

April 20, 2010 

A national supermarket trade association called on Congress to consider interchange regulation recently after Visa notified retailers of an increase in the fees its issuing banks charge for payment card transactions. In response to what it claims amounts to a 30 percent increase in the swipe fees Visa-issuing banks now charge to accept PIN debit cards, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) urged lawmakers to support “efforts to bring meaningful relief to interchange swipe fees and unfair, intrusive card company practices that are squeezing small businesses and raising prices for all our customers.” Currently, there are three pending pieces of legislation address interchange fees: House and Senate versions of The Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2009 and The Credit Card Interchange Fees Act of 2009. The FMI joins another powerful merchant lobby, the National Retailer Federation, which a month ago urged Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) to add interchange regulation to his financial reform package currently under consideration in the Senate.