The controversy over fees of retail-card-payment networks, how they're determined and whether consumers or merchants bear them is coming to a head.

The merchant lobby argues for focusing narrowly on card-acceptance fees, utility-like cost recovery rather than value-based pricing, and government intervention. Thus far it has been more effective than the payments industry in setting the terms of the debate. In response to a concerted assault on their business models, commercial payment networks and their licensees' have behaved like a boxer on the ropes. While consumers have much at stake, they are not engaged.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.