Lack of Payments Competition Only Benefits Visa & Mastercard

Reforms Must Benefit Consumers Not Dominant Banks, Duopolies

Austen Jensen, senior vice president, government affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association, issued the following statement ahead of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing entitled “Excessive Swipe Fees and Barriers to Competition in the Credit and Debit Card Systems”:

“U.S. merchants pay outrageous fees to accept credit and debit cards payments. The absence of competition in the payments ecosystem allows Visa and MasterCard to get away with highway robbery when it comes to swipe fees. In 2021, U.S. retailers paid an astounding $138 billion to accept electronic payments, a cost much higher than our global peers.

“The Senate Judiciary Committee has a responsibility to protect consumers by ensuring that competition exists throughout the payments arena. That requires pursuing legislation and holding hearings that curtail anticompetitive business practices, remove roadblocks to innovation and ensure the ability of all retailers to improve the customer experience, unconstrained by the market power of Visa and Mastercard who consistently shape that experience to their own benefit.

“Leading retailers stand ready to work with Congress to address the lack of competition in the payments arena. We applaud the Committee for holding today’s hearing and urge Senators to work diligently on this problem. As policy takes shape, it is imperative the Committee focus on ensuring that competition among players in the payments ecosystem actually benefits American consumers, rather than seeing those benefits stifled by dominant issuing banks and the persistent duopoly of Visa and MasterCard.”

Read RILA’s full letter to the Judiciary Committee here.  


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.

  • Payments
  • Competition
  • Public Policy
  • Supporting Free Markets and Fostering Innovation

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