September 17, 2009
Merchants and bankers in clash over fees
U.S. retailers and banks are gearing up for a battle over interchange fees charged by banks when consumers pull out their credit cards to make a purchase.
With three separate bills in Congress lined up to address the issue, retailers and banks are lobbying for support, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
A study conducted by the Merchants Payments Coalition showed that in the past four years $125 billion would have been saved had U.S. banks used the card fee system used in Australia.
It's the No. 2 cost, behind labor, in our industry, said Lyle Beckwith, a senior vice president of the National Association of Convenience Stores.
On Thursday, Visa Inc. released a survey that showed customers by a 2-to-1 margin indicated they believed retailers should pay the cost of accepting credit and debit cards.
The response is loud and clear: consumers aren't buying the message convenience store chains and big retailers are selling, said Bill Sheedy, group president of the Americas for Visa Inc.