Visa Idles Swipe-Fee Hike for a Year

The planned higher credit card fees for merchants will be delayed until April 2021.

May 06, 2020

NEW YORK—Visa late yesterday said it would again push back planned increases in credit card swipe fees until April 2021 but will go ahead and reduce interchange fees for in-store purchases at supermarkets in July. In March, Visa and Mastercard agreed to postpone until July the rollout of a new fee structure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We believe this is the right decision to ensure the long-term stability of the digital payments ecosystem,” Visa said in a statement.

Swipe fees are the second highest operating expense behind labor for NACS members and retailers across the country. These fees are set by the major card networks and collected by the banks who issue the cards. Most consumers do not realize retailers are charged a huge fee on every credit card transaction.

The news comes on the heels of Visa’s announcement last week that it also would delay until April 2021 the deadline for U.S. gas station owners to upgrade their automated fuel dispensers to take EMV chip and contactless payments. NACS advocated for a delay in the EMV liability shift because convenience stores are already under pressure operating as essential businesses during the pandemic.

“While we continue to believe EMV is the best way to decrease fraud, we recognize the supply chain and staffing challenges that are impacting the ability for gas station owners to complete the upgrade at this time,” Visa said yesterday.