Friday, September 02, 2005

Open Letter to Visa CEO: suspend gas station credit card interchange fees to help motorists save ~$1.50 per fill-up

[A similar letter was also provided to MasterCard International CEO, Robert Selander from the Credit Card Interchange Blog: editors, Mitch Goldstone and Carl Berman]

September 1, 2005

Mr. John Philip Coghlan
Chief Executive Officer
Visa USA
123 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105

Dear Mr. Coghlan,

Congratulations on your new role as CEO of Visa USA. Your leadership in empathizing with retailers is most appreciated, as were your reflections that your new challenge is to build a better relationship with merchants.

Based on the precedent set by Visa USA after the Asian tsunami disaster, I understand that the member financial institutions of your credit card association agreed to suspend certain credit card interchange fees. The catastrophic events caused by last week's Hurricane Katrina is another opportunity to provide similar comfort to the region affected.

Due to the record-setting gas prices that motorists are paying, as editor of the Credit Card Interchange Blog:, I ask you to consider also suspending the interchange fee for service stations - which can be as high as $1.50 per fill-up. This action will provide immediate assistance to millions of consumers in advance of the Labor Day holiday and help promote commerce at a time when our nation is faced with extreme financial hardships.

This request is provided in my capacity as editor of the Credit Card Interchange Blog and is not related to my antitrust litigation. As a staunch consumer advocate, many of my prior national grassroots initiatives played a role in supporting commerce. This request does not come without personal sacrifices and participation from millions businesses across the country. For instance, my online boutique photo service already provides a 50% discount to all military families in the U.S. and abroad.

I hope you will consider this request to suspend gas station interchange fees so that the dealers can pass along the savings to motorists.

Thank you for your personal attention.


Mitch Goldstone
Editor - Credit Card Interchange Blog: