Austen Jensen, senior vice president for government affairs of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, issued the following statement in reaction to a report in Bloomberg News regarding plans by VISA to “adjust” its fee structure for merchants.
“Let’s be blunt. VISA teasing that rates will go down for 'some' is masking the true impetus for this plan—their aim is to hike rates on the vast majority of merchants. This sleight-of-hand shouldn’t fool lawmakers or regulators. VISA is attempting to hide the impact of these changes with lots of fancy buzz words, but the reality is that they are setting themselves up to drive up costs at local retailers, restaurants and other merchants with higher fees.”
“More people are using plastic, and more merchants accept cards than at any point in our history. In a free market with competition, that would drive costs down, not up. There is only one reason VISA is preparing to hike fees on merchants—they can.
“Our payments market is broken. In the absence of true competition, it’s time for lawmakers and regulators to step back in to prevent the largest card networks and banks from fleecing American merchants.”
RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to elevate a dynamic industry by transforming the environment in which retailers operate.
RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.