House Committee To Review Interchange Bill

The House Financial Services Committee has scheduled a hearing for Oct. 8 to receive testimony on the Credit Card Interchange Fees Act (H.R. 2382), NACS reported.

This legislation, introduced by Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Bill Shuster (R-PA), would begin to change many of rules imposed on merchants by the credit card companies.

In preparation for the hearing, NACS is stressing that it is important for members of the Committee to understand the effect credit card company policies and rates have on your business and is urging retailers with operations in districts represented by House members serving on this Committee to contact these legislators and ensure they understand the importance of this legislation to your business.

Visit the Financial Services Committee’s Web site to see which representatives serve on this Committee. You can contact these members by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

H.R. 2382 aims to prohibit anti-competitive practices, which are banned through contracts merchants sign with Visa and MasterCard.

“NACS believes that these are fundamental rights that ensure an open, competitive market and should not be able to be limited by the credit card companies. These include, but are not limited to, additional charges for premium cards or access devices, pricing display restrictions, ‘honor all cards’ rule, and reason code 96 chargebacks,” the association noted.

In addition the legislation aims to disclose rules that provide the FTC authority to eliminate anti-competitive rules, requiring the credit card companies to disclose all terms, rates and conditions to the FTC and allows the FTC review and determine if practices are anti-competitive; requires full disclosure of interchange and other fees collected from merchants to the fed and the public; and requires the full disclosure of interchange or other merchant-paid fees to customers.

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