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Mega-retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has come out against the recently proposed credit card interchange fee settlement, in which the Bentonville, Ark.-based company says it’s “disappointed,” thereby aligning itself “with a growing number of consumer groups and merchants” that include Target Corp. and the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).
“The proposed settlement would not structurally change the broken market or prohibit credit card networks from continually increasing hidden swipe fees, which already cost consumers tens of billions of dollars each year,” Walmart explained. “The proposed settlement would require merchants to broadly waive their rights to take action against the credit card networks for detrimental conduct or acts. We believe the proposed settlement would also constrain emerging payments innovation.”
The company urged other retailers to reject the settlement, saying that it would continue “to seek reform that will provide transparency and true competition among financial institutions.”
In its own statement, Minneapolis-based Target said it “believes the proposed interchange fee settlement is bad for both retailers and consumers. The proposed settlement would perpetuate a broken system, restrict retailers from any future legal action and offer no long-term relief for retailers or consumers.
The company continued: “In addition, Target has no interest in surcharging guests who use credit and debit cards in order to allow Visa and MasterCard to continue charging unfair fees. We will continue to explore our options while working toward a solution that represents true reform.”
Neither Target nor Walmart were parties to the lawsuit, as NACS was.