Lawmakers Take Aim at Visa and Mastercard Fees Once Again

Lawmakers Take Aim at Visa and Mastercard Fees Once Again

Lawmakers have reintroduced legislation that would let merchants process many Visa and Mastercard credit cards over different networks.

A nearly identical bill was introduced last summer, and now they’re giving it another go with two additional co-sponsors, one from each party. A House version of the bill is also expected to be reintroduced this week, WSJ reports.

Last year’s bill was referred to the Senate Banking Committee but didn’t get voted on.

Currently, when a consumer pays with a credit card that has Visa or Mastercard listed on it, merchants generally have to route the payment through that network. This bill would mandate that merchants in many cases have the right to route payments through an unaffiliated network. That could could mean lower fees for merchants.

Visa and Mastercard set the network fees that merchants pay when consumers shop with cards, and then collect those fees. They also set interchange fees that merchants pay to the banks that issue credit cards.

Credit card reward programs could be scaled back if this bill passes. Those programs’ are normally funded by interchange fees. 

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