retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg reports that Visa and Mastercard have agreed to postpone a planned April 2021 increase in "swipe fees" to April 2022.

Bloomberg reports that "retailers have been asking both networks in recent months to delay hikes in so-called interchange fees, hoping to avoid a jump in costs for accepting cards at a time when consumers are especially reliant on online shopping. The companies’ plans have drawn attention from Senator Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat who previously helped limit fees on debit-card transactions."

The story says that "the networks’ decision was welcomed by the Merchants Payments Coalition - which represents retailers, supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations and e-commerce providers - but the group still called on Congress and enforcement agencies to investigate the way the two networks set their fees."

FMI–The Food Industry Association  applauded the decision.

“At a time when our economy is struggling to recover from the harsh impacts of the pandemic and businesses are fighting to keep their doors open, stores clean and associates safe, major credit card companies made the right decision to call off these harmful and unwarranted fee hikes," said Leslie Sarasin, FMI's president-CEO.  "FMI commends their announcement and hopes Visa and Mastercard decide to make this postponement permanent. We remain committed to advocating for reforms in the credit card market that will bring true competition and transparency to the payments space.” 

KC's View:

Yeah, will, as much as I admire Leslie's optimism, I'm guessing that there will be swipe fee increases as soon as Mastercard and Visa think they can get away with them.

And, if the economy booms in the second half of this year and the first half of next year, as many people expect, we can expect Vis and Mastercard to want to dip their beaks even more.