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National Retail Federation Appeals Card Swipe Settlement

The industry advocacy group claims a recent settlement of a class action lawsuit between retailers and MasterCard and Visa was flawed.

The National Retail Federation has filed an appeal over a multi-billion dollar settlement over credit card swipe fees, saying the settlement will do nothing to curtail rising card fees.

The terms of the settlement, reached last month, were made between nine retailers and Visa and MasterCard and was the culmination of a class-action lawsuit filed in 2005 by retailers against the two card schemes. The settlement, which required Visa and MasterCard to pay $5.7 billion to cover merchants costs of charging card swipe fees, was approved by a Federal judge. But the NRF's appeal claims the settlement should not have been granted and constituted "an abuse of the class action system."

The NRF claims some 8,000 retailer that were part of the original class action suit rejected the settlement, and that the nine who did accept it do not represent the industry as a whole.

"NRF is filing the appeal to overturn the flawed credit card swipe fee settlement," the group said in a statement. "The settlement does nothing to reform the price-fixing payments system that has let credit card swipe fees skyrocket over the past decade and nothing to keep them from continuing to soar in the future. Instead of lowering fees, the card industry’s settlement proposes that merchants pass them along to consumers in the form of surcharges. That is absolutely the opposite of what retailers sought, and major retailers have soundly rejected surcharging."

[Related Content: MasterCard Loses Card Fee Challenge, Visa Europe Next]

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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