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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Economic hang-ups: Will payments wilt?

News

Industry Update

Visa shoots for largest U.S. IPO ever

Vermont interchange bill a cry for help

Interchange act coming back stronger

TSYS joins the mobile fray

Data Treasury: Billions in the balance

Features

AgenTalkSM:
Jim McMahon

ATMs and a changing biz model

Travis K. Kircher
ATMmarketplace.com

Optio Solutions LLC. - Kinder, gentler collections

ISOMetrics:
Recessing, depressing economy

Views

Card stripes, prison stripes - security required

Biff Matthews
CardWare International

Education

Street SmartsSM:
Biting the ISO that feeds it

Dee Karawadra
Impact PaySystem

Shower candidates, grow your ISO

Curt Hensley
CSH Consulting Inc.

Secret's out: How to snag merchants

Maxwell Sinovoi
United Bank Card Inc.

PIN-ing profits

Scott Henry
VeriFone

Annihilate attrition

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Setting the stage for stupendous sales

Daniel Wadleigh
Marketing Consultant

Company Profile

Cutter LLC

New Products

Brand protection the Teleblock way

Teleblock Do-Not-Call Blocking System
Call Compliance Inc.

Software for streamlined processing

NitroSell
Company: NitroSell

Inspiration

Here comes the sun - and the dust pan

Miscellaneous

POScript

Departments

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

March 10, 2008  •  Issue 08:03:01

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Interchange act coming back stronger

They're angry, they're organized and they're being heard. No, it's not some hardscrabble, anti-this-or-that protesters. It's a group of merchants who have come together through such organizations as the Merchant Payments Coalition, National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) and the National Retail Federation. They want interchange reform - yesterday. And the U.S. Congress is bowing to the pressure.

U.S. House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., and Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, planned to introduce the Credit Card Fair Fee Act the week of Feb. 25, 2008. The bill will ostensibly provide a mechanism by which merchants can negotiate interchange fees with MasterCard Worldwide and Visa Inc.

The legislation will also establish a panel to decide on proper interchange rates should negotiating parties be unable to reach an agreement. The panel's decisions will be legally binding, if the act becomes law.

Congress held hearings on interchange in 2007. Retailers claimed the fees are arbitrary and exorbitant, costing merchants and consumers $40 billion per year. Visa and MasterCard assert that interchange fees are a necessary and fair cost for the services they provide. They also claim that merchants already have the right to negotiate interchange fees; merchants counter that they are completely out of the rate-setting loop.

However, the bill, which was first drafted in 2007, has been delayed, not due to lack of support, but because retailers and their representatives have swayed Congress to such a degree that interested legislators need an additional week or two to review the legislation and sign on as original cosponsors, according to John Eichberger, NACS Vice President, Government Relations. When was the last time you called Congress?

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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