We support bi-partisan bill to stop unfair Visa-Mastercard practices that harm consumers, small businesses

PIRG announced it is once again supporting 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, Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL)  Roger Marshall (R-KS) Peter Welch (D-VT) and J.D. Vance (R-OH) are sponsoring the recently introduced Credit Card Competition Act (S, 1838). A House companion (H.R. 3881) is supported Democrat Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California and by Lance Gooden (R., Texas), Tom Tiffany (R., Wisconsin) and Jeff Van Drew (R., N.J.).

“Credit card swipe fees inflate the prices that consumers pay for everyday purchases like groceries and gas.  It’s time to inject real competition into the credit card network market, which is dominated by the Visa-Mastercard duopoly,” said Durbin.  “This legislation, which builds upon pro-competition reforms Congress enacted in 2010, would give small businesses a meaningful choice when it comes to card networks, and it would enable innovators to gain a foothold in the credit card market.  Bringing real competition to credit card networks will help reduce swipe fees and hold down costs for Main Street merchants and their customers.”

Here is a link to our recent testimony on the broken credit card market and at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the urgent need for swipe fee reform.


Ed Mierzwinski

Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program, PIRG

Ed oversees U.S. PIRG’s federal consumer program, helping to lead national efforts to improve consumer credit reporting laws, identity theft protections, product safety regulations and more. Ed is co-founder and continuing leader of the coalition, Americans For Financial Reform, which fought for the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, including as its centerpiece the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He was awarded the Consumer Federation of America's Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award in 2006, Privacy International's Brandeis Award in 2003, and numerous annual "Top Lobbyist" awards from The Hill and other outlets. Ed lives in Virginia, and on weekends he enjoys biking with friends on the many local bicycle trails.