In July 2022, the Credit Card Competition Act (CCCA), a bill which seeks to drive down merchant fees and reduce costs to consumers by increasing competition among US card networks, was introduced in the US Senate by Senators Dick Durbin and Roger Marshall. In September, Representatives Peter Welch and Lance Gooden introduced a similar bill in the House of Representatives.
The Electronic Payments Coalition, the Interstate Community Bankers Association, 44 state community banking associations, the Consumer Choice Center and numerous other organizations oppose the CCCA. They assert that the bill will impose new costs on consumers and community banks, pose security risks and end credit card rewards programs. One of their key arguments is that retailers will not pass the proceeds of any fee reduction on to consumers. As evidence, they point to a 2014 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond which found that in response to the 2011 Durbin Amendment that capped interchange fees on debit cards, only 2% of merchants lowered their prices while 23% increased them.
In October, Senators Durbin and Marshall attempted to increase the bills’ chance of passing by introducing two amendments to attach the bill to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the annual bill that authorizes defense spending. The rationale for attaching the CCCA to the NDAA is that military veterans must sometimes pay surcharges at military commissaries to cover credit card processing fees. One of the amendments they introduced called for the US Defense and Treasury departments to issue a report on how much money veterans are paying in surcharges when they use credit cards and which companies benefit from those fees.
The attempt to attach the CCCA to the NDAA failed, but another attempt to do so may happen later this year. The Senate is due to return from recess in mid-November.
Verisave is a third-party cost-reduction firm specializing in merchant accounts and credit card processing fees.
Verisave is not a payment processor, and is not affiliated with any processors, card brands, or banks.
Verisave has more than 20 years of experience optimizing and monitoring the credit card processing industry.