Settlement May Lead Some Consumers to Pay 'Swipe' Fees

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Sweeney agreed that the settlement doesn't directly affect consumers because not all merchants will impose a surcharge on consumers.

"The helpful aspect of the settlement is [that], whether merchants charge customers or not to recover acceptance, having this tool will increase competition in the payment card market and eventually lower merchants' costs, which will eventually bring down prices for consumers," she said.

When asked the likelihood that merchants will pass on the possible lower costs to consumers, Sweeney said, "The U.S. retail market is very competitive, so it seems likely that merchants will pass the savings to customers."

Keating said it is unlikely merchants will pass along savings to consumers, pointing to the relief package paid from banks to merchants as a result of the Durbin Amendment of the Dodd-Frank Act.

"Even after receiving an $8 billion annual windfall from the Durbin Amendment, they refused to pass along promised savings to customers and sued the Fed for even more profits," Keating said. "Big-box retailers will likely seize this opportunity to ask Congress for even more handouts. If retailers use this settlement to justify more government price controls, they will just be trying to profit at their own customers' expense."

ABC News' Zunaira Zaki contributed to this report.

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