Visa and Mastercard are postponing plans to boost the fees U.S. merchants pay when consumers use credit cards online, pushing back the changes another year to April 2022 because of the pandemic.
“Visa is committed to maintaining stability in our payments system and will not make any future rate changes in the U.S. for another year while the economy recovers,” the company said in an emailed statement. Retailers have been asking both networks in recent months to delay hikes in so-called interchange fees, hoping to avoid a jump in costs for accepting cards at a time when consumers are especially reliant on online shopping. The companies’ plans have drawn attention from Senator Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat who previously helped limit fees on debit-card transactions. “We urge you to call off these planned fee increases,” Durbin wrote in a letter this month with U.S. Representative Peter Welch, a Democrat from Vermont, to the card networks’ chief executive officers. “Our nation is still reeling from the ongoing pandemic.”