The National Association for Convenience Stores (NACS) is taking on the airways as part of the latest initiative to pressure payment card processors Visa and Mastercard to allow additional networks to process bank card transactions.
The group, a member of the Merchants Payments Coalition (MPC), just launched a new ad winking at Visa’s sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup – calling on the company to refuse to allow competition on swipe fees.
The ad depicts a football match taking place in a crowded stadium. As players attempt to score goals, images of credit cards and messages from the ad’s narration appear.
“Free market competition – Main Street businesses do it every day and consumers are the winners,” says a narrator in the ad. “But what happens when we let credit card companies play by different rules? Americans pay the highest swipe fees in the world, up to 3% or more, or nearly $1,000 $ a year in unfair hidden fees for families. That’s why Main Street businesses and consumers support the Credit Card Competition Act. It takes free market competition to get fair fees.
Visa is the Official Payments Technology Partner of FIFA and is actively promoting its participation in this year’s World Cup in Doha, Qatar.
“Visa is spending millions of dollars promoting competition in football, even though it refuses to allow competition on swipe fees and how transactions are routed,” said MPC executive committee member Doug Kantor. and general counsel for NACS, in a statement.
“Visa says it wants to give football fans around the world the best way to pay, but it should start by enabling competition on the hidden fees that are charged every time football fans and other consumers use a credit card,” Kantor said. “If the competition is good on the football field, it is also good on the pay-to-play field.”
The ad follows the sending mail by the MPC to all members of the United States House and Senate, signed by more than 1,800 retailers nationwide, calling on lawmakers to support the Credit Card Competition Act sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan. , Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., and Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas.
The law would allow at least two unaffiliated networks to process Visa or MasterCard-branded credit card transactions, including networks like American Express, Discover, NYCE, Star and Shazam. It excludes networks supported by foreign governments.
A separately sent letter contains the names of 236 state and national trade associations representing merchants. The two letters noted that major banks and card networks like Visa and Mastercard charge merchants more than 2% of the customer’s total bill for each credit card purchase and that transaction fees have more than doubled over the past the last decade, including 25% last year for a record. $137.8 billion.
The Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC), a group of lobbyists representing payment card networks, major banks and credit unions, claimed that allowing unaffiliated networks to process transactions would add billions to the bottom line. mega-retailers while eliminating nearly all funding that goes to popular credit card rewards programs, weakening cybersecurity protections and reducing access to credit.