Merchants can breathe a little easier. That’s because Visa and Mastercard are postponing interchange fee changes scheduled to take effect next month. In April 2020 the card networks delayed interchange fee changes for one year due to the pandemic. They were again ready to roll out the new interchange schedule this April, but received attention on Capitol Hill from Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Peter Welch, who urged the companies to hold off on 2021 fee increases.
Most interchange increases reportedly were directed at online transactions as well as premium credit cards. Merchants were hoping to see another delay in interchange increases as they recover from the effects of the pandemic. Their wish has come true.
The following excerpt from a Bloomberg article reports more on the topic:
Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. are postponing plans to boost the fees U.S. merchants pay when consumers use credit cards online, pushing back the changes another year to April 2022 because of the pandemic.
“Visa is committed to maintaining stability in our payments system and will not make any future rate changes in the U.S. for another year while the economy recovers,” the company said in an emailed statement.
Retailers have been asking both networks in recent months to delay hikes in so-called interchange fees, hoping to avoid a jump in costs for accepting cards at a time when consumers are especially reliant on online shopping. The companies’ plans have drawn attention from Senator Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat who previously helped limit fees on debit-card transactions.
As part of its delay, Mastercard said it’s also pushing back plans that would have caused some bricks-and-mortar retailers, along with convenience stores and supermarkets, to see higher rates. The network vowed that it would “continue to be thoughtful” about the timing of implementing the changes.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group