WASHINGTON -- Retailers are trying to tie the issue of card interchange to the high gas prices that Americans currently experience.
The Merchants Payments Coalition, an organization of retailers formed to lobby for support of governmental intervention in the interchange question, is circulating media statements alleging, among other things, that 2.5% of the price of every gallon of gas purchased with a credit cards goes for interchange.
"Gas retailers gross margins are 8.4 cents/gallon," the coalition said. "In other words, retailers lose money with every credit card transaction even before all other expenses are calculated. This places an enormous burden on mom-and-pop stations across the country. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of the country's 115,000-plus convenience stores selling gas are one-store operators."
The coalition hopes to leverage consumer anger about gas prices into support for federal legislation which would mandate a judicial board setting interchange rates nationwide.