The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that "two US senators are preparing legislation that would give merchants power to process many Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. credit cards over different networks.
"The bill, which could be introduced as soon as this week, aims to create more competition among U.S. credit-card networks, a sector where Visa and Mastercard have long dominated. Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, and Sen. Roger Marshall, a Kansas Republican, are expected to introduce the bill.
"Mr. Marshall said banks and major card networks lobbied his office to not sign onto the bill. He decided to move forward after hearing from a growing number of merchants, including small businesses, restaurants, gas stations and convenience stores, about the toll of the rising credit-card fees set by Visa and Mastercard that are often pocketed by large banks."
The story notes that "Mr. Durbin spearheaded a similar rule for debit cards over a decade ago. The Durbin amendment, part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, requires that merchants have the ability to choose from at least two unaffiliated debit-card networks when routing transactions."
- KC's View:
Seems to me that if lawmakers take positions that are being pro-consumer/taxpayer, it usually is a good idea. The argument is that retailers better protect the shopper's interests, and as long as retailers live up to this promise, I'm totally on board for the kinds of regulation being proposed here.