Congress has no proper business getting involved in regulating credit card swipe fees. Contrary to the editorial in the Des Moines Register by Bill Leichsenring, the market is not broken (“Congress must rein in credit card swipe fees” 11/27/2012″ – see link below). There is a great deal of competition to process merchant credit card transactions. I am a retail business owner who pays thousands of dollars in credit card swipe fees each year. We receive solicitations all the time from companies that would like to process our credit card transactions and try to lower our fees. Fees do vary widely, but they are not as low as Mr. Leichsenring reports they are in Europe. If our government is doing anything to prevent European banks from competing in the U.S., or to prevent competition in the credit card market, those things should be stopped. Otherwise, we should not be asking government to step in and use its force to lower prices that we think are too high. No business is required to accept credit cards. They do it voluntarily because they think it will improve their profits. If businesses don’t want to pay the credit card fees, they don’t have to accept them. They could accept only cash or checks. They could offer their own direct charge accounts. They could even look into offering newer alternatives like Paypal or Dwolla. When it comes to free market capitalism, most businesses want it for everyone else. In their own businesses, they want crony capitalism or mercantilism – where government protects them against competition, bails them out when they lose money, but lets them keep the profits.
Link to Register article: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20121127/OPINION01/311270075/Iowa-View-Congress-must-rein-in-credit-card-swipe-fees?Opinion&nclick_check=1