NGA CEO thanks Senate and House lawmakers for their outreach to Visa and Mastercard
Washington, D.C. – National Grocers Association (NGA) President and CEO Greg Ferrara wrote a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS), and U.S. Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Beth Van Duyne (R-TX), thanking them for their bipartisan, bicameral efforts to implore Visa and Mastercard to forego planned April 2022 swipe fee rate increases on merchants.
Ferrara also called on Congress and the Biden administration to address the market failures and lack of competition that have allowed the card networks to profiteer off of American consumers and Main Street businesses.
Independent grocers and merchants alike paid more than $100 billion in swipe fees to accept credit cards in 2021, according to the Nilson Report. Visa and Mastercard’s anti-competitive duopoly has allowed these networks to increase swipe fees on an annual basis for decades without any ability for grocers or other Main Street businesses to affect those costs.
“Independent grocers do all they can to absorb swipe fees, the competitive nature of the grocery industry demands this, but absorbing these out-of-control increases is simply not sustainable for any businesses, especially small businesses. This means that some amount gets passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. Whether they have a credit card or not, the average American family already pays more than $700 per year in swipe fees,” Ferrara wrote.
“Your letter to the card networks echoes the concerns that independent grocers have been hearing for months now from consumers within the communities they serve. Food inflation is at a 40-year high, and one of the most frequent places that Americans notice these price increases is at the grocery store. At a time when both the supply chain and local communities are faced with increased costs, the last thing grocers or their customers need is swipe fee hikes.”
Ferrara noted that swipe fees in the United States are higher than any other country in the industrialized world. “Independent community grocers and wholesalers support your efforts and call on Congress and the Biden administration to follow in your footsteps to address the failures of the broken card payments market,” he wrote.
The full text of the letter can be found here.
NGA is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale community grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. An independent retailer is a privately owned or controlled food retail company operating a variety of formats. The independent grocery sector is accountable for about 1.2 percent of the nation’s overall economy and is responsible for generating more than $250 billion in sales, 1.1 million jobs, $39 billion in wages and $36 billion in taxes. NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers located in every congressional district across the country, as well as state grocers’ associations, manufacturers and service suppliers. For more information about NGA, visit www.nationalgrocers.org.