Merchants Payments Coalition examines impact of Independence Day swipe fees

The Merchants Payments Coalition (MPC) maintains bank and card networks swipe fees to process credit card transactions could increase consumers’ cost of celebrating the Fourth of July by $500 million.

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“Fourth of July is the most American of our national holidays, but there is nothing American about fees that are set without competition,” National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) General Counsel and MPC Executive Committee Member Doug Kantor said. “Americans celebrating Independence Day will pay more for everything from sparklers to hot dogs because of swipe fees that have skyrocketed higher than the biggest fireworks display. Lack of competition is why these fees continue to rise and why consumers are paying more. It’s time for Congress to bring swipe fees under control and make the card industry compete the same as small businesses do every day.”

Kantor said competition is the American way and there is no better time to remember that than the Fourth of July.

The MPC estimates higher costs from swipe fees on food, alcohol, fireworks and flights could total $513 million, or about $4 per domestic household – the equivalent of a package of hot dogs or a box of sparklers.

“Our stores compete every day for consumers’ business—as does every other business in the country,” NACS President and CEO Henry Armour said. “In the broken credit card market, no competition means an open invitation for these large multinational corporations to continually increase rates and to only focus on what benefits them, as opposed to the customer.”

Credit and debit card swipe fees have more than doubled over the past 10 years and increased $22 billion last year to a record $160.7 billion, according to the MPC.