Arlington, VAFMI – The Food Industry Association applauded Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Lance Gooden (R-TX) for introducing companion legislation (H.R. 8874) in the U.S. House of Representatives to the bipartisan Credit Card Competition Act (S. 4674) sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Roger Marshall (R-KS) earlier this year. This bill would require more than one network option on credit cards, giving merchants like food retailers greater choice in payment routing and fostering innovations in vendor services and fraud protection for merchants and consumers alike.

FMI Chief Public Policy Officer and Senior Vice President, Government Relations Jennifer Hatcher stated, “FMI commends Reps. Welch and Gooden for prioritizing increased competition in the credit card market through the introduction of this critical legislation. We are grateful for their support to provide more routing choices for businesses like food retailers, and we are proud to endorse the Credit Card Competition Act.”

Hatcher continued, “Grocers are committed to serving all their customers, regardless of how they pay. Unfortunately, credit card companies have exponentially increased the hidden processing fees that grocers and ultimately consumers are forced to pay for accepting credit cards as payment. Card processing fees in the U.S. are some of the highest in the world, totaling $137.8 billion in 2021, according to Nilson Report, and costing the typical American family an average of $900 per year. Excessively high credit swipe fees reduce the ability of grocery stores to invest in their businesses and keep prices as low as possible for their customers.”

Hatcher concluded, “This legislation simply establishes parameters to foster competition and transparency so that card networks would compete for our business on fees and terms – just as we have to compete for our customers’ business.”

FMI recently joined more than 230 state, regional, and national associations across all 50 states and Puerto Rico in a letter urging House members to support the Credit Card Competition Act. The association also helped facilitate a letter signed by nearly 1,700 companies of various sizes and industries across the country similarly calling upon representatives to cosponsor this bipartisan legislation.