Card Issuers Are Terrified that Small Businesses, Workers, and Consumers Support the Credit Card Competition Act

December 13, 2023 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — The Lower Credit Card Fees Coalition today released a statement following new reporting that the payments industry and bank lobby are paying social media influencers to gin up astro-turfed opposition to the Credit Card Competition Act — a bill that would save consumers and small businesses billions of dollars per year by breaking the Visa-Mastercard duopoly.

“A broad coalition of small businesses, workers, and consumers support the Credit Card Competition Act to lower business junk fees, which is why the credit card lobby must resort to doughnut giveaways and paying influencers to peddle lies about the bill. These two things are not the same,” Coalition Executive Committee member and American Economic Liberties Project Director of Policy and Advocacy Morgan Harper said. “But the truth is clear: Congress could save small businesses and consumers billions by passing the CCCA to bring much-needed competition to this market.”

Grassroots momentum to break Visa and MasterCard’s duopoly is gaining steam in the US and across Europe. In a recent speech on the Senate floor, Senator Dick Durbin described the broad array of support for the bill, stating that “few things could unite unions, business groups, consumer groups, and a bipartisan group of Senators. The CCCA does just that.”

Recently, the coalition launched to organize this momentum, including a diverse group of organizations representing workers, small businesses, competition advocates and consumer groups concerned by significant market failures in the credit card payments system. Members include Accountable.US, American Economic Liberties Project, Americans For Financial Reform, Consumer Reports, Fight Corporate Monopolies, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Main Street Alliance, Merchant Payments Coalition, National Association of Independent Venues, Public Interest Research Group, and Service Employees International Union.

And today, British regulators announced plans to reintroduce a cap on card fees for UK-EU transactions, countering the significant fee increases imposed by Visa and Mastercard since Brexit. The (Payments Systems Regulator) PSR found that these swipe fees are too high at 1.5% on credit cards, and costing businesses £150-200 million last year. For context, the U.S. swipe fee rate is 50% more than the UK rate. The PSR plans to establish a lasting cap following further analysis, addressing concerns about high costs for companies and consumers.

Learn more about the Lower Credit Card Fees Coalition here.


The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.