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Merchants push back on soaring swipe fees

A third area of inflationary pressure for many restaurateurs are the fees charged for processing guests' credit-card payments. Here's why those costs are rising now, and what merchants are doing to slow the climb.

As if rising food and labor costs aren’t enough of a squeeze on margins, many restaurateurs are seeing increases in what is often their third largest operating expense, the fees for processing guests’ credit-card payments.  

Mastercard and Visa raised their swipe card fees about two weeks ago, after a double-digit increase for most merchants in 2021.

Why impose increases now? And what can restaurateurs and retailers do to counter those additional inflationary pressures? In this week’s edition of the Working Lunch podcast, Align Public Strategies principals Joe Kefauver and Franklin Coley look at the dynamics and how merchants are pushing back with requests to lawmakers that steps be taken to increase competition among processors.

They’re joined by Lyle Beckwith, leader of the Merchant Payment Coalition, a group pushing back on the increases, and SVP of government relations for NACS, the association of convenience store operators. The conversation looks at what’s being done, and what additional steps could be taken, to protect restaurateurs and retailers as they attempt to rebound from the pandemic.

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