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Visa to Congress Ignore merchant interchange claims
WASHINGTON (10/5/09)--Visa has become the latest financial institution to weigh in on the interchange debate, saying that legislators and the public should not be swayed by the dramatic delivery by 7-Eleven executives of 15,000 booklets of signatures supporting interchange fee reforms. The comments from Visa, reported recently in CardLine, echo the sentiments of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and other members of the electronic payment coalition. According to Visa, the merchants push toward interchange fee legislation is more about retailers looking to take advantage of consumers by having them help shift the burden of business costs onto themselves in the form of surcharges. Changing the current interchange fee structure would limit consumer options, competition and technological innovation, according to CUNA. CardLine cited Visa research which found that 78% of consumers said that the benefits of accepting credit and debit cards outweigh the costs of accepting them for many retailers. A report commissioned by MasterCard found that 80% of people who signed the 7-Eleven petition "mistakenly believed" that consumers would benefit from lower interchange rates. (See related story: MasterCard says 7-Eleven misled consumers on interchange)

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