The Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC) sent a letter to Congressional leadership this morning in support of the bipartisan Credit Card Competition Act (S. 4674), sponsored by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Roger Marshall (R-KS).   The Credit Card Competition Act will modernize consumer banking laws to better safeguard American small businesses, including restaurants, from rising “swipe fees” that are drowning our local institutions. We urge Congress to include this important legislation in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023.

In the wake of high inflation rates squeezing local restaurants trying to recover from COVID-19, interchange rates have risen, at the expense of consumers and Main Street businesses. With two companies controlling over 80% of the domestic credit card market, these entities quash competition from smaller banks and exert control over businesses in every corner of the U.S. This concern is evident in the $138 billion collected by credit card companies from businesses and consumers in 2021 alone. To add insult to injury, these fees are exacerbated by inflationary pressures — since each swipe fee is a percentage of a product’s price — and have cost the American family an average of $900 so far this year.

Read the letter here.