Major credit card companies set to raise merchant fees, reports say

CHARLOTTE — Prices continue to climb on items such as gas and food, and now there’s another expense that could impact shoppers every time they buy something.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Mastercard and Visa plan to charge merchants more when customers use a credit card.

The credit card companies were planning to raise swipe fees in 2020, but once the pandemic started, they decided to hold off. But now The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the companies plan to start next month.

When shoppers swipe a credit card, the credit card company charges the business a fee. Many businesses pass that cost along to the consumer.

Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke says Mastercard and Visa use complicated formulas, so it’s hard to say exactly how much every swipe costs merchants. It’s also hard to say how much the fees would go up and what businesses, products and services would be impacted the most.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association is strongly against an increase, saying inflation, supply chain issues and the Russian invasion of Ukraine are making so many things more expensive.

“No one is out of the woods on this,” RILA’s Austen Jensen told Stoogenke. “It’s just unfortunate they’re going to do this at this really difficult economic time for the American consumer.”

The RILA says it’s urging the credit card companies to reconsider and lobbying federal lawmakers to intervene.

Graham Worth co-owns The Common Market in Charlotte. He says credit card fees are his fourth biggest expense after inventory, payroll and rent.

“People are shocked when they realize what a big expense it is to small businesses,” Worth said. “All of our expenses have gone up and we haven’t adjusted our prices yet, but that is something we’re discussing as well because it’s hard for small businesses to continue to absorb these cost increases.”

Stoogenke emailed Mastercard and Visa, but they did not respond in time for this report.

(WATCH BELOW: Local business concerned over impact of rising gas prices)