ALEXANDRIA, VA - NACS continues to hear from retailers and associations that they agree with NACS and reject the terms of the proposed swipe fee anti-trust settlement announced on July 13.
Because the proposed settlement does not introduce competition and transparency into the broken credit card swipe fee market, the NACS Board of Directors, comprised of more than two dozen merchants, unanimously rejected the proposed settlement agreement. NACS was the first class plaintiff to reject the terms of the proposed agreement but it is expected that many of the other class plaintiffs will join NACS in the coming weeks.
As a class plaintiff in the litigation, NACS sought a trial to establish that the anticompetitive practices engaged in by the credit card industry are illegal. NACS also pushed to end the practices engaged in by the credit card companies that don€™t allow for market competition.
"It€™s a bad deal and the growing backlash against the terms of the proposed settlement that we are hearing from retailers confirms that this is far from a done deal," said NACS Senior Vice President of Government Relations Lyle Beckwith.
On Friday, Target released a statement condemning the terms of the proposed settlement. "Target believes the proposed interchange fee settlement is bad for both retailers and consumers. The proposed settlement would perpetuate a broken system, restrict retailers from any future legal action and offer no long-term relief for retailers or consumers. In addition, Target has no interest in surcharging guests who use credit and debit cards in order to allow Visa and MasterCard to continue charging unfair fees. We will continue to explore our options while working toward a solution that represents true reform."
Beckwith said that retailers need to proceed with caution in the coming weeks, especially if they get unsolicited sales calls that offer a cut of the settlement funds.
"It wouldn€™t surprise me at all if retailers start getting calls. We strongly recommend that retailers keep their options open before signing any agreements with third parties to obtain settlement funds. We will provide news and updates on a regular basis related to the terms of this proposed settlement and recommend that retailers do their due diligence in going forward."
Beckwith also encouraged retailers to express their opinions regarding the terms of the proposed settlement via local media and in press releases.
"Tell them that it€™s a bad deal and that this issue is far from over. The credit card companies want everyone to think that everything is settled even though merchants haven€™t had the chance to say what they think. Don€™t let them get away with it."
If you want to share what you have done to communicate your opposition to the proposed settlement or share your comments, contact Lyle Beckwith.