Durbin Meets with Fareway Stores CEO to Discuss Swipe Fees

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, met with Reynolds Cramer, CEO of Fareway Stores, to discuss the impact of credit card swipe fees.  Earlier this year, Durbin and U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS) introduced their Credit Card Competition Act, bipartisan legislation that would enhance competition and choice in the credit card network market, which is currently dominated by the Visa-Mastercard duopoly. The legislation is estimated to save merchants and consumers $15 billion each year and Durbin recently urged the Senate to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.  During the meeting, they also discussed the challenges that grocery stores face in rural and urban areas.

Fareway Stores is a family-owned Midwest grocery company that operates more than 130 grocery store locations.  The Illinois stores are located in Geneseo, Moline, and Monmouth.

“Visa and Mastercard set interchange fees on behalf of thousands of banks and tell merchants to take it or leave it.  Merchants—like Fareway Stores—have no real choice but to accept the outrageous fees,” said Durbin.  “In 2022 alone, U.S. merchants and consumers paid $93.2 billion in credit card interchange fees to line the pockets of the biggest Wall Street banks.  During our meeting, we discussed my Credit Card Competition Act, legislation that would address these excessive interchange fees.  American consumers and small businesses are fed up.”

A photo of the meeting is available here.

Durbin, Marshall, and Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) sent a letter to Visa and Mastercard insisting on an immediate reversal of their recent plans to increase credit card fees on merchants and consumers again this fall—a move that would cost American businesses and merchants an additional $502 million annually.