Marty Maciaszek, Director of Communications and Team Dealer Division
(847) 296-6742, ext. 1260
DOWNERS GROVE, ILLINOIS (June 7, 2023) – The National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) is pleased to see the bipartisan Credit Card Competition Act reintroduced into Congress today. NSGA supports this legislation because it would bring much-needed competition into the United States credit card market and would provide financial relief from swipe fees that impact sporting goods retailers and team dealers.
The Credit Card Competition Act was reintroduced in the Senate by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Peter Welch (D-VT) and J.D. Vance (R-OH) and in the House by Representatives Lance Gooden (R-TX), Tom Tiffany (R-WI), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ).
“We applaud these senators and representatives for working together to bring this important legislation back to Congress and NSGA hopes their colleagues follow suit,” said Matt Carlson, NSGA President & CEO. “The passage of this bill would be a big boost to the financial vitality of small business retailers and dealers in the sporting goods industry and their customers. Increased competition in the credit card industry would lead to innovation in the marketplace and end the domination of two companies in the United States.”
Visa and Mastercard control nearly 83 percent of the U.S. credit card market, according to the Merchants Payments Coalition, of which NSGA is a member. Unlike the debit card market, those credit card companies don’t have to compete with any other service provider for merchant business. The Credit Card Competition Act would help retailers and American consumers by requiring Visa and Mastercard compete with other networks for both merchant and bank business. A payments consulting firm estimates that introducing competitive networks will save U.S. consumers and merchants $11 billion annually.
Swipe fees for credit cards are higher in the U.S. than anywhere else in the industrialized world and more than seven times as high as in Europe. Credit and debit card swipe fees soared nearly 17 percent in 2022, costing U.S. merchants and consumers $160.7 billion, and have risen 142 percent over the previous decade, according to the Nilson Report. Swipe fees are also an inflation multiplier since they are a percentage of the transaction. Economists estimate in 2022 that swipe fees cost the average American family more than $1,000 and that number is likely higher today because of inflation.
The legislation would also introduce much-needed redundancy protection into the system because there are currently no backup networks on credit cards, so when there is an outage consumers can’t access their credit. The introduction of routing competition in the Credit Card Competition Act would ensure that consumers can access their credit cards even if a network has an outage or is hacked.
Small business retailers and dealers are calling for swipe fee reform more than any segment of the sporting goods industry because they have the narrowest profit margins and fewest resources. They are hit hardest by continued increases in swipe fees.
Click here for information on the Credit Card Competition Act, how to contact your representatives to support this important legislation and other NSGA advocacy activities. You can also contact Julie Pitts, NSGA Director of Public Affairs, at email@example.com.
About the National Sporting Goods Association
Since 1929, the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) has been the leading voice and go-to resource for the sporting goods industry. NSGA helps the industry grow its businesses through research, advocacy and networking. For more information about membership or NSGA’s products and services, please visit nsga.org.