Washington, D.C. – The National Grocers Association (NGA) welcomed the introduction in the House of Representatives of the Credit Card Competition Act by U.S. Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Lance Gooden (R-TX).
The House legislation – a companion to Senate legislation introduced by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Roger Marshall (R-KS) – is aimed at bringing competition to the credit card marketplace and lowering acceptance costs for merchants and consumers. The bill requires that credit cards issued by the largest U.S. banks be able to be processed over at least two unaffiliated card payment networks, and that merchants be allowed to decide which to use.
“Credit card payments are among the highest costs of doing business for many U.S. merchants, including independent community grocers,” said Christopher Jones, SVP of government relations and counsel. “These ‘swipe fees’ have a direct impact on our members’ operations and the viability of their businesses. Swipe fees are the second largest operating costs for grocers and are out of their control.”
For more than a decade, two major card networks have set the interchange fees that merchants pay to the issuers of the credit and debit cards with which Americans transact. Under this current duopoly, these two card networks have instituted fee changes that almost always lead to increases in merchants’ costs. U.S. merchants pay the highest swipe fees in the industrialized world.
As a founding member of the Merchants Payments Coalition, NGA has worked alongside other merchant associations to address swipe fees for nearly two decades. NGA fought for passage of the Durbin Amendment, a landmark law that brought debit swipe fee reforms, which prevent financial institutions from price-gouging debit interchange fees and led to increased competition and transparency in the debit marketplace. Last week, nearly 1,000 independent grocers joined a business community letter in support of the Credit Card Competition Act of 2022
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.