According to Nation’s Restaurant News, “ Two major business associations have thrown their support behind a Senate measure that would enable restaurateurs and other businesses to negotiate lower transaction, or interchange, fees with credit card companies and their banks.”
“Officials from the National Restaurant Association and the National Retail Federation, the parent of the National Council of Chain Restaurants, both said they welcome the Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2009, introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. Interchange fees, which average about 2 percent, are determined collectively by credit card companies’ banks. Operators argue that they have no choice but to accept the fees as presented or stop accepting credit cards altogether. Credit card companies oppose the measure as unnecessary government intervention.”
“The bill is aimed particularly at credit-card companies Visa and MasterCard, which together control more than 80 percent of the market. Interchange fees totaled $48 billion in 2008, according to the NRF, up from $16.6 billion in 2001,” The story said.