Momentum is building in Washington to address the high credit card “swipe fees” that are plaguing merchants in Utah and around the country. As a former business executive that was forced to navigate the extra expense, I could not be more supportive of the effort. Our elected leaders in Congress should back the proposed Credit Card Competition Act. 

Many Utahns don’t know that businesses are charged a fee every time a customer swipes, inserts or taps a credit card. To the detriment of merchants and their consumers, these “swipe fees” have more than doubled over the past decade. Last year, businesses paid a combined $130 billion in credit card “swipe fees”— double the amount compared to the year before. 

Why are the fees skyrocketing? Because Visa and Mastercard have a stranglehold on the market and are using their considerable leverage to inflate costs. The proposed federal legislation would tackle the problem by injecting competition into the credit card industry — providing merchants with more options on how to process credit cards. The change could save businesses and consumers upwards of $15 billion per year. 

I urge Utah’s elected leaders in Washington to support the bill.

Blain Boelter

West Valley City