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New Ad Campaign Blasts U.S. Interchange Fees as Among Highest in the World

Visa, MasterCard, and their member banks collected $42 billion in secret credit card fees last year, and that take is drawing attention from Congress, retail merchants are telling consumers this week in newspaper ads.

The credit card interchange fee situation, along with legislation recently introduced to bring fairness to the broken market of how the fee is set, is the subject of a House Judiciary Antitrust Task Force hearing that will take place May 15. The Merchants Payments Coalition, a group representing the nation's retailers and formed to address soaring credit card interchange fees, is trying to make sure the public at large is aware of what's transpiring on the Hill.

"Despite increasing volume, more efficient technology, and lower losses from fraud in processing credit card transactions, credit card interchange fees in the U.S. are among the highest in the world," the Coalition said in ne of the print ads that are appearing in Capitol Hill newspapers and elsewhere.

Bipartisan legislation was introduced in March in the House by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT). Called the Credit Card Fair Fee Act, H.R. 5546 was introduced to create a competitive market outcome and bring transparency to the broken credit card market by allowing merchants a seat at the negotiating table.
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