According to a report on Forbes.com, Visa, Mastercard, and several banks recently settled a series of class action lawsuits that accused them of conspiring to set unreasonably high processing fees. As a result, they will have to pay $6 billion in settlement fees to more than 7 million merchants. As a result of the lawsuit, retailers will now be able to pass surcharge fees along to customers or negotiate no-surcharge fees with Visa and Mastercard in exchange for something of value.
In a press release on the National Retail Federation’s website Mallory Duncan, senior vice president and general counsel of the NRF, said, “The money is significant but money is only temporary – it’s here today and spent tomorrow. What we need are changes in the rules that bring about transparency and competition that would be here for years to come. The test will be whether the injunctive relief is meaningful. Unless it is, the card market will stay broken and neither merchants nor their customers will achieve a long-term benefit. In that case, it would be a missed opportunity.”