Small business owners nationwide have increasingly felt the weight of rising credit card processing fees, and finally, relief may be on the horizon. A promising piece of legislation, the Credit Card Competition Act of 2023, has been introduced to both chambers of Congress. The act aims to reduce the financial burden on Main Street businesses by promoting competition in the credit card processing market.
The current environment sees small businesses grappling with what is known as swipe fees. These are charges set by large credit card companies operating within a market shielded from competition. For many businesses, especially those just starting to accept credit cards, the fees are an unexpected and significant cost.
Renea Jones, a small business entrepreneur from Tennessee, expressed her concerns about these fees. “We just recently started accepting credit cards, and we have noticed that that ‘swipe fee’ has been very expensive for us,” she commented. Her sentiment is widely shared. In fact, a recent ballot conducted by the NFIB revealed a staggering 92% of small business owners believe they should have the freedom to select from multiple credit card processing networks.
The Credit Card Competition Act of 2023 is set to address this issue head-on. By enabling businesses to choose between various credit card networks, the act promotes competitive pricing, allowing small business owners to choose an option best aligned with their financial needs.
Michelle Smith, another small business owner hailing from Florida, shared her thoughts on the matter: “Just like we have to compete for clients and for the business that we want to engage in, the credit card companies should absolutely not have a monopoly on the business owners that can use their services.”
This issue has grown in importance over the years. Since 2012, credit card swipe fees have doubled, and it’s a financial challenge that small businesses often can’t absorb. David Henrich, a small business owner from Minnesota, offered a fresh perspective, emphasizing the ripple effect of these fees on consumers. “I think one thing people forget about all these costs and fees that they think businesses pay is that it’s the consumers who end up paying these fees,” he mentioned. “If we can reduce those fees, we can stabilize costs.”
For small business owners, these added fees can mean the difference between growth and stagnation. The introduction of the Credit Card Competition Act of 2023 signals a potential turning point that could create a more competitive and balanced marketplace for these essential enterprises. It’s not just about reduced fees; it’s about offering small business owners, the backbone of our economy, a fair playing field. The act’s progress will be keenly watched by entrepreneurs, policymakers, and consumers alike, all of whom stand to benefit from a more equitable system.
Small Business Deals
Image: Envato Elements