Convenience United: Celebrating NACS Day on the Hill

Senators Marshall and Durbin spoke to attendees about the Credit Card Competition Act.

March 20, 2024

Last week, more than 150 convenience industry advocates from around the country came to Washington, D.C., for NACS Day on the Hill.

The event kicked off with a general session meeting on Tuesday. NACS president and CEO Henry Armour and Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS) opened the session with a discussion on the Credit Card Competition Act (CCCA). (Last month, the bill gained two co-sponsors.)

Senator Marshall encouraged advocates to build long-term relationships with not just the legislator but the legislative entire staff.

“It's always about relationships. Why is your business successful? It's your relationship with your customers, with your employees, with your supply chain,” Marshall said. The senator explained that it was “story after story” about the effects of swipe fees that helped break through to him. “When I heard that retailers can spend more in swipe fees than utilities, health insurance or even rent—I understood that. I ran a business for 25 years and I understand what those costs mean for a business.”

“Tell your story. We want to know much you care. And it’s more than connections. You can jump into action and reach out to say ‘I see they're going to take a vote on this tonight or tomorrow. Just tell my senator thanks for their support,’” Marshall said.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) later joined Armour to discuss the bipartisan legislation. The bill Durbin introduced with Marshall would enhance competition and choice in the credit card network market, which is currently dominated by the Visa-Mastercard duopoly.

“For more than a decade, I’ve been fighting to stop the big banks and credit card giants from ripping off Americans with their high swipe fees. The convenience store industry has been with me every step of the way. And together, we’ve racked up some big wins to rein in these outrageous fees,” said Durbin. “Now it’s time to take the next step and bring real competition to credit cards by passing my bill, which will save merchants and consumers $15 billion each year. I’m thankful to have NACS as a partner in this fight and I look forward to getting my Credit Card Competition Act across the finish line.”

The bill has support from a wide range of small businesses and consumer groups, as well as key unions including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

On Wednesday, industry advocates headed up to Capitol Hill to meet with congressional leaders and share the impact skyrocketing credit card swipe fees have on their businesses. Overall, Day on the Hill attendees represented about 12,000 convenience store locations across the country, and teams participated in over 200 meetings total with Senate and House officials.