RILA: Visa U.S. Swipe Fees Unfair
An announcement last week that Visa cut interchange, or "swipe" fees on debit transactions in Europe has drawn criticism from the Retail Leaders Industry Association, an Arlington, Va.-based trade group of major retailers.
While Visa Europe agreed to cap debit card interchange rates at 0.2 percent for four years, in the United States the Visa debit card interchange rate rose nearly 30 percent in April to 0.95 percent plus $0.20 for every transaction.
The move also likely foreshadows further Visa increases on the fees paid by American retailers unless Congress acts soon on debit interchange reform, according RILA. Interchange fees, which are imposed by the card association and issuing banks to process the credit and debit card transactions, have tripled in the United States since 2001 to $48 billion last year and amount to a hidden tax on consumers.