ABA President and CEO Frank Keating said that it is time for retailers to move on and end calls for Congress to intervene on the interchange issue in a letter this week published by Politico.
Following seven years of negotiations overseen by courts, an unprecedented legal settlement was reached by retailers in the card industry in July. The settlement provides more than $7.2 billion to approximately seven million merchants. Retailers, however, have continually called for Congress to increase government price controls.
“Government price-setting is bad news for consumers,” Keating wrote, according to Politico. “The Durbin Amendment on debit cards has led to higher consumer costs for financial products, increased costs for small business and absolutely no consumer benefit – including the lower prices retailers promised but never delivered. It is hard to view that as sound public policy.
“[Some retailers] want to continue enjoying the benefits— and lower costs—that come from our nation’s payments system without paying for it, all while attempting to bully Congress into enacting more harmful price controls. Negotiated settlements be damned. For the sake of consumers and the broader economy, it’s time to put this matter to rest once and for all. Retailers and their surrogates may continue to parade out half-truths that deny that anything bad has come from government price controls, but don’t be deceived. It’s a bad deal all around.”