ARLINGTON, Va. --
The Food Marketing Institute here yesterday reported that 17 bills have been introduced this year in 10 states targeting “excessive, hidden” interchange fees. "Retailers welcome state scrutiny of credit card company abuses, especially measures to require full disclosure and reduce interchange fees," said FMI President and Chief Executive Officer Tim Hammonds. "For too long, Visa, MasterCard and their card-issuing banks have fixed interchange fees under the cloak of secrecy. The predictable result: The cost of interchange now dwarfs that of all other credit card fees." State action “reinforces the need for rigorous investigations by the U.S. Congress," Hammonds added. FMI pointed to state assemblies in Florida, Kansas, Nevada, New York and Washington that are considering bills to ban interchange fees on the sales tax portion of any retail transaction. Proposed laws in Nebraska and Texas would require card companies and banks to fully disclose their operating rules and interchange fees.