Beauty Store Business magazine - January, 2020

Retailers Appeal Credit Card Swipe Fee Settlement

Retailers Appeal Credit Card Swipe Fee Settlement

The National Retail Federation is appealing the approximate $6 billion class-action settlement approved by a U.S. District Court concerning credit card swipe fees.

The lawsuit was initially filed by merchants against Visa and MasterCard nearly a decade ago. The merchants claim that the two major credit card companies charge merchants excessive and exploitative fees for accepting the payment cards from customers.

The NRF is asking the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the lower court’s ruling. It argued against approval of the settlement at a hearing in September 2013.

“The settlement does nothing to reform the price-fixing payments system that has let credit card swipe fees skyrocket over the past decade and nothing to keep them from continuing to soar in the future,” said NRF senior vice president and general counsel Mallory Duncan. “Instead of lowering fees, the card industry’s settlement proposes that merchants pass them along to consumers in the form of surcharges. That is absolutely the opposite of what retailers sought, and major retailers have soundly rejected surcharging.”

Duncan added that nearly 8,000 merchants, including some of the nation’s largest retailers, rejected and opted out of the settlement upon disclosure of its terms. The NRF estimates that credit card swipe fees cost merchants and their customers an estimated $30 billion a year and have tripled over the past decade.

[Image courtesy of TongRo Images/Thinkstock]