ARLINGTON, Va. — Increases in fees for retailers handling Visa rewards credit cards that went into effect Friday are “deplorable,” according to Food Marketing Institute here.
“At a time when consumers and retailers are fighting for their economic survival and just a few days after they paid their taxes, Visa’s interchange fee increases are deplorable,” Leslie G. Sarasin, president and chief executive officer of FMI, said in a prepared statement.
“Interchange is, in effect, a hidden tax on every plastic transaction, fixed by the credit card companies and banks in an anti-competitive market.”
According to FMI, Visa implemented increases in interchange fees ranging from 2.5% to 8.9%, depending on the kind of card and transaction, beginning Friday.
FMI has long lobbied for legislation to aid retailers in the face of the total cost of interchange fees tripling since the beginning of this decade. Interchange fees totaled $48.8 billion in 2008, according to the Merchants Payments Coalition and data from The Nilson Report cited by FMI.
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