Fight to Rein in Credit Card “Swipe Fees” Explained in Op-Ed

Date: November 16, 2022

Bill in Congress would give small businesses choices to avoid higher “swipe fees”

The Washington Times published an op-ed written by NFIB Federal Government Relations Director Jeff Brabant that explains how credit card companies continue to increase credit card swipe fees, and how the Credit Card Competition Act of 2022 would give small businesses real choices for the first time.

“The credit card fee crisis has been building for years, yet in the wake of the pandemic, it’s worse than ever,” Brabant wrote. “Small businesses and customers are reeling from inflation, with price increases the inevitable result of worker shortages and supply chain snarls. Amid these terrible challenges, massive credit card companies have shockingly decided to raise the fees they charge small businesses and customers. It’s adding insult to inflation injury at the worst possible time, costing money that Main Street needs to survive.”

Swipe fees have more than doubled since 2012 and the problem has been exacerbated by pervasively high inflation, which acts as a multiplier because swipe fees are a percentage of each sale. Small businesses do not have the market power to negotiate with large credit card companies on swipe fees, so Congress is considering legislation to introduce crucial competition into the market.

“Right now, Congress is considering bipartisan legislation called the Credit Card Competition Act of 2022,” Brabant wrote. “It would require that credit card companies offer at least two networks on each credit card, which necessarily involves offering different fee structures. For the first time, small businesses would have options to choose from and can choose the most affordable option. What’s more, credit card companies would finally have to compete for business, just like small businesses have to compete for customers.”

NFIB wrote letters of support for H.R. 8874 and S. 4674, the House and Senate versions of the Credit Card Competition Act of 2022, to help advance this important legislation.

“The Credit Card Competition Act of 2022 along with Congress should ensure it finally happens now,” Brabant wrote. “If the status quo continues, Main Street’s struggles will continue to worsen, stifling the small-business economic recovery. That’s the last thing America needs, so Congress should prioritize cutting costs and increasing choices that small businesses deserve and customers’ demand.”

Take Action: Tell Congress to rein in credit card swipe fees and allow small business owners the ability to choose between credit card networks.


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