Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said today that it takes issue with the multi-billion dollar swipe-fee settlement the card networks proposed this month.
It joins other merchants, notably Target Corp., in their public opposition to the settlement. Visa, MasterCard and several large banks proposed to end a long-standing lawsuit by offering to pay over $6 billion and allowing merchants to add a surcharge to credit-card transactions. The National Association of Convenience Stores, a trade group that represents more than 3,700 merchants, immediately voiced its objections to these terms.
"Walmart, along with a growing number of consumer groups and merchants, is disappointed in the proposed credit card interchange fee settlement," the retailer said in an emailed statement. "The proposed settlement would not structurally change the broken market or prohibit credit card networks from continually increasing hidden swipe fees, which already cost consumers tens of billions of dollars each year. The proposed settlement would require merchants to broadly waive their rights to take action against the credit card networks for detrimental conduct or acts."
Wal-Mart concluded its statement by encouraging other merchants to reject the settlement.
Target, in its statement last week, said the settlement is "bad for both retailers and consumers."
In their original proposal, Visa and MasterCard expressed some optimism that merchants would be agreeable to the settlement.
The settlement "should resolve all issues with the merchant community," said Noah Hanft, MasterCard's General Counsel and Chief Franchise Integrity Officer, in a press release July 13.