Swipe Fees in Action

Swipe Fees in Action

November 2022   minute read

NACS In Store visits don’t just consist of a tour and behind-the-counter experience. Retailers also get the opportunity to discuss legislative issues with lawmakers and show them firsthand how those issues affect their store.

One issue always discussed during these visits is swipe fees. Congress passed debit reform in 2010, which has been successful in helping retailers curtail debit swipe fees, but Visa and Mastercard’s duopoly over the credit card marketplace has led to skyrocketing credit card swipe fees in recent years (latest numbers show they are up 38% through the first half of 2022).

For the first time, however, groundbreaking bipartisan legislation introduced in September in the House and Senate seeks to bring relief to retailers by tackling those excessive fees head-on. The Credit Card Competition Act would require two unaffiliated routing networks to be enabled on credit cards, meaning Visa and Mastercard would have to compete with another network for this service.

Injecting competition in this space would allow market forces to work, lowering the cost of the transaction and fostering an environment for innovation and security.

In August, NACS was honored to host Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), the Republican sponsor of the Credit Card Competition Act, at QuikTrip in Wichita, Kansas. He donned the QT uniform and put on a nametag with his nickname “Doc,” and saw how swipe fees work in action. Every time he swiped a customer’s credit card, the credit card companies charged 2-3% in interchange fees on each swipe. “It just amazes me that a convenience store like this one is paying more for swipe fees than they are for utilities,” said Sen. Marshall.

NACS continues to aggressively advocate for the Credit Card Competition Act’s passage and encourages members of our industry to ask their members of Congress to co-sponsor the bill. 


NACS In Store continues to be one of the most valuable tools in our advocacy toolbox. With the midterm elections ahead and a new Congress to begin in 2023, NACS looks forward to hosting incoming freshmen members of Congress to let them experience the industry’s magic firsthand and to build new champions for convenience.