MasterCard to Cap Interchange Fees for Gas Stations, Publish Fee Schedule Online
In response to unhappy merchants who have both sued and lobbied Congress over fees they pay to credit card companies, MasterCard announced Wednesday it would begin publishing its interchange fee schedule on its Web site at mastercardmerchant.com. In addition, MasterCard announced a cap on interchange charges for fuel purchases that it said could reduce fees by up to 21% on some consumer gas purchases. Interchange fees are charges that merchants pay to accept credit cards in their stores.
The fees are paid to merchants’ banks and companies such as MasterCard and Visa. Each credit card transaction includes a charge to the merchant of anywhere from one to three percent plus a small flat fee. Last month, merchant groups
testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that MasterCard and Visa were unfairly raising interchange fees, citing the fact that most merchants must accept credit cards to survive and thus must swallow whatever fees MasterCard and Visa mandate.
MasterCard’s move may have been a preemptive strike to avoid having Congress stick its nose any further into the situation. Merchants also have filed lawsuits over the same issues, with several currently making their way through the court systems.
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