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NACS: Congress Should Promote Free Market

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — As the new Congress takes its place on Capitol Hill, NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, is urging federal lawmakers to choose free market over price fixing.

In an opinion piece for The Hill, Lyle Beckwith senior vice president of government relations for NACS, said the choice between free, competitive markets and price fixing is what is at stake with the debit card swipe fee reform currently in place. 

"Before those reforms, the big banks and credit-card companies fixed prices without limitations in the uncompetitive business of processing debit-card purchases for merchants," Beckwith wrote. "Reform gave the banks incentives to set their own prices for processing these transactions and compete like other businesses must."
In addition, according to Beckwith, reform gave merchants more choices on which companies process customer debit card transactions. 

"It turns out these pro-competition reforms are good for consumers and the entire economy," he wrote. "The reforms created jobs at a crucial time, saved consumers money and boosted small businesses."

However, he contended that "Visa, MasterCard and the banks have tried to fool people who otherwise favor competitive markets into voting against competition on 'swipe fees.'"

Efforts to repeal the swipe fee reforms were included in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, as CSNews Online previously reported.

"Supporting repeal of reform would be a vote for price-fixing. It’s unfortunate the big banks are so unwilling to compete that they would push members of the committee to support a price-fixing scheme," Beckwith wrote.

To read his full opinion piece, click here.


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