By today, 7-Eleven Inc. convenience stores across the United States likely will have met their collective goal of gathering 1 million signatures a month earlier than expected, Keith Jones, 7-Eleven director of government affairs, tells CardLine. The campaign, which began in late June, officially ends on Aug. 10. By the time 7-Eleven officially announced the campaign this morning, customers already had filled each of 270 signature lines in the signature books of some franchises, and franchisees have requested additional books, according to Jones. "It's been absolutely remarkable," Jones says. "We started off with about 9,500 signature books, and then we ordered another 5,000 a week ago." The signature campaign is not tied to any pending legislation in particular, Jones says. However, in early June, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., reintroduced legislation to let merchants enter into collective-bargaining agreements with banks when setting interchange rates. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., reintroduced a similar companion bill a few days later. Still another bill, introduced in May by Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., would let merchants set minimum and maximum amounts for credit card purchases, offer discounts for particular forms of payments, and enable merchants to steer patrons to the least-costly purchase methods.

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