Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Protestors Demonstrate Outside the National Retail Federation's Annual Conference in New York

(January 16, 2006) --(BUSINESS WIRE)--A photo, taken today outside the Javits Center during the National Retail Federation's annual conference in New York, showing protestors demonstrating against interchange fees associated with major credit card companies.

Today in New York, dozens of protestors stood outside the Javits Center during the National Retail Federation's annual conference and expo. The group was demonstrating against the interchange fees that card associations like Visa, MasterCard and American Express charge to retailers every time a consumer uses a credit card. The topic of interchange fees has been a hot button issue for the retail industry, which paid approximately $39 billion in fees to the card associations last year. Ultimately, this cost is passed onto consumers through higher prices.

Retailers interested in eliminating their interchange fees were encouraged to sign up at stopinterchangenow.com. *

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The well-organized protestors waved placards with a wide variety of messages that largely parodied the multi-million dollar advertising campaigns and slogans from the leading charge card firms. The slogans included:

"Visa: Everywhere You Want a Fee"

"More Than $pare-Change Without Interchange"

"American Express: My Life. My Card. My Fee.

"MasterCard. Not Priceless"

* Stopinterchangenow.com believes merchants should be able to accept credit payment from customers without having a significant portion of profits siphoned off by the card associations. The 1996 class-action lawsuit, brought by NRF and the nation’s largest retailers, opened the marketplace for payment alternatives outside of the "Honor All Cards" rule. Finally that alternative is on its way and a credit revolution is coming. Soon all merchants will be able to accept credit without paying interchange fees.