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Senate Judiciary Committee to Hold Hearing on Credit Card Interchange Fees

by Peter Andrew
Senate Judiciary Committee to Hold Hearing on Credit Card Interchange Fees

5 UPDATE: The hearing scheduled for June 28th was postponed and a new hearing was scheduled for July 19th. Click here for coverage of the July 19th hearing. The Senate Judiciary Committee, headed by Chairman Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, will hold a hearing on credit card interchange fees on Wednesday, June 28th. The hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in Room 226 of the Senate Dirksen Office Building. At issue is the percentage that Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and bank issuers charge their member merchants to process credit card transactions.
A group of merchant trade associations called the Merchants Payments Coalition alleges that the fees are illegally high, while credit card industry spokespeople allege that merchants want the perks of accepting credit cards without paying reasonable fees for the service. Interchange fees are the costs that a store, restaurant or other merchant must pay on every credit card transaction processed. According to the Merchants Payments Coalition, this fee averages 2%, meaning that for every $100 you make at a merchant, the merchant is actually taking in an average of $98 after the interchange fee is deducted.

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