N) and banks issuing their credit cards have agreed to a settlement valued at $7.25 billion and will allow stores to encourage customers to use cheaper forms of payment, according to settlement papers filed on Friday in a lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court.
The retailers claimed Visa, MasterCard and the banks conspired to fix the fees that stores pay to accept credit and debit cards.
It has about $4.28 billion in that escrow, which is funded by a separate class of shares held exclusively by US banks that issue Visa cards.
The card companies have also agreed to reduce swipe fees for eight months, valued at approximately $1.2 billion, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs.
The suits name Visa, MasterCard and numerous large banks that issue their cards, accusing them of conspiring over merchant fees.
An additional $525 million will be paid to stores suing individually, according to the documents.
“This is an historic settlement,” said Bonny Sweeney, a lawyer for the plaintiffs.
This trend, however, might see a dramatic change as the Durbin amendment to the Dodd Frank bill that came in effect last October reduced the interchange fees charged by banks on debit card payments to 21 cents plus 0.05% of the transaction, a reduction of nearly 50% from the earlier value.
Noah Hanft, general counsel for Mastercard, said the company believed its interests were “best served by an amicable resolution” to the case.
Visa Chief Executive Officer Joseph Saunders said the settlement was in the best interest of all parties and did not expect the settlement to impact its current guidance.
Throughout the world, its principal business is to process payments between the banks of merchants and the card issuing banks or credit unions of the purchasers who use the “MasterCard” brand debit and credit cards to make purchases.
N) and shoe retailer Payless ShoeSource, as well as trade associations like the National Association of Convenience Stores, National Grocers Association and the American Booksellers Association.
MasterCard, however, will now have a chance to increase its market share for debit transactions, which has historically been dominated by Visa as the bill requires banks with more than $10 billion in assets to use separate payment processing networks for signature authorized and PIN authorized debit card transactions.
The card companies and banks would also allow stores to start charging customers extra for using certain credit cards in an effort to steer them toward cheaper forms of payment.
The final step in the process of making the bank card available to customers is the agreement of Visa and Mastercard, Lebedev told Izvestia on Wednesday.
We are now starting phase two with credit and debit cards.
The US Department of Justice brought and settled a civil antitrust suit against Visa and Mastercard in 2010.
Implied market share of consumer and business credit, charge and store cards in circulation of American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa and private label, 2012.
As part of the consent decree, the companies agreed to drop certain policies that kept stores from steering their customers to cheaper forms of payment.
Relationship between penetration rates for insurance and assistance policy types linked to added value accounts and payment cards and their perceived value among respondents, 2012.
In December, Visa announced it had set aside an additional $1.57 billion to cover the cost of a potential settlement in the case, bringing its litigation reserve balance to $4.28 billion, according to a regulatory filing.
Mastercard in the fourth quarter of 2011 recorded a $770 million pretax charge, as an estimate of its potential liability in the case, a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission showed.
Debit card usage in the US grew by an average of 18% for the last 10 years, surpassing credit card usage in volume for the first time in 2009, and debit payments account for more than 35% of all non cash payments.
The case is In re: Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, no.
Alexandra Zucchi is a business journalist based in Hobart, Australia. Alexandra has a passion for financial markets and breaking news stories and loves writing about business news, stock market, and economic opinions that matters most to its audience. Alexandra spends a lot of time discovering and researching latest financial markets and industry news stories in order to make sure the latest and greatest stories are brought to you first on BigBoardNews.com.