The dominance of Visa, along with Mastercard and the big banks that issue most credit cards, comes with high costs for small business owners and consumers.
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Independent businesses are largely at the mercy of Visa and MasterCard when it comes to the fees they must pay every time they swipe a credit card. These fees, which are ultimately passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices, have soared from $27 billion in 2004 to $48 billion last year (or $427 per household). Recognizing the tremendous market power held by card processors, many countries now regulate credit card transaction fees, setting them at rates as low as one-sixth of what U.S. businesses pay. … Read More