WASHINGTON – Yesterday, 41 merchants from around the nation meet with 77 members of Congress to try to save debit-card reform.
Reform has saved consumers and merchants $40 billion during the five years it has been in effect, according to research cited by the Merchants Payments Coalition, a large group of retailers fighting for reform of the payments business.
Before this reform, Visa and MasterCard price-fixed the fees banks charge merchants to process debit-card purchases. Reform introduced modest competition. Congress is currently considering repealing the reform.
Merchants reminded Congress that retail is a huge chunk of the national economy, employs 50 million Americans and is comprised mostly of small businesses.
Reform not only lowered consumer prices but also bolstered Main Street businesses struggling with intense competition. Reform also brought competition to Visa and MasterCard, which dominate the business, by ensuring they couldn’t block smaller competitors from handling debit transactions.
This competition has been good for the economy and helped people save money. NACS joined with these retailers to protect the progress made.