PIRG continues to demand powerful credit card companies “unmask” hidden swipe fees we all pay

Pixabay | Pixabay.com

Take Action

PIRG stepped up its fight for the Credit Card Competition Act when it published an oped urging support for the bill. As the oped explains:  We need to “unmask” the “swipe fees that the credit card industry charges merchants but that are so large they get baked into the prices of everything” that consumers buy.

We called for swift passage of the Credit Card Competition Act, a commonsense bipartisan bicameral bill that will indirectly protect U.S. consumers — and directly protect small businesses — from unfair credit card fees. In response to the anti-competitive practices of Visa and Mastercard that affect Americans of all demographics, in “red” and “blue” states alike. Its Senate sponsors are Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL),  Roger Marshall (R-KS), Peter Welch (D-VT) and J.D. Vance (R-OH). The House sponsors are Democrat Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California and  Lance Gooden (R., Texas), Tom Tiffany (R., Wisconsin) and Jeff Van Drew (R., N.J.).

As the oped explains further, “all of us pay more at the store and at the pump because credit cards are a broken market.” I don’t say that lightly. As the U.S. Government Accountability Office has explained, the card companies have market power–  the “ability of some card networks to raise prices without suffering competitive effects.” Visa and Mastercard have more than 80% of the credit card market.”

And outrageously, I add: “The banks, which compete on pretty much everything else, are happy to let Visa and Mastercard set both swipe fee prices and make rules for them. That makes the fees go up without any market constraints. By refusing to compete on price, those banks reap huge profits at consumers’ expense.”

The full op-ed appears in  the competition outlet:”RealClear Markets.