Understanding the Visa and Mastercard Settlement

May 21, 2024

What You Need to Know About the $5.54 Billion Credit Card Settlement
Recently, credit card giants Visa and Mastercard reached a $5.54 billion settlement with merchants overinflated credit card interchange fees, commonly known as “swipe fees.” This decades-long legal battle has resulted in the largest antitrust class-action settlement in U.S. history.

What Does This Mean for Merchants and Consumers?

While the Visa and Mastercard settlement still awaits approval by a federal court, its approval could benefit not only merchants but consumers as well.

Key Points of the Settlement:

  • Visa and Mastercard have agreed to lower published credit-card interchange fees by four basis points in the U.S. for at least three years.
  • Neither company will raise interchange fees for five years above the rates that were in place at the end of 2023.

According to a statement from one of the law firms involved in the settlement, “the interchange fee reduction could save merchants $29.79 billion in the five years after the settlement is approved.”

Eligibility for Claim Submission

If your business accepted Visa and/or Mastercard between January 1, 2004, and January 25, 2019, you may be eligible for a share of a $5.54 billion payment card settlement. This includes businesses that have since closed or gone bankrupt.

How to Submit a Claim

In an Order dated May 14, 2024, the Court granted an extension of the claims-filing deadline. The new deadline to submit claims is now August 30, 2024.

The official court-authorized settlement website can be found here.

There are two methods by which you can submit a claim:

  1. If you received a Claim Form in the mail and want to file a claim online using the Claimant ID provided, you will select that option on the settlement website.
  2. If you did not receive a claim form in the mail, you can begin the claim filing process by clicking the button for Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). Once you create your account using your TIN, you will need to provide supporting proof of authorization documentation in order to access your interchange transaction fees. Proof of authorization could be a certificate of incorporation, a certificate of dissolution, a W-9, or a utility bill.

For step-by-step instructions on submitting a claim by either method, review the following video provided by the court-authorized website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuHOnvlVFpI

Potential Settlement Payout
The amount you receive from the settlement fund will be based on your actual or estimated interchange fees attributable to Visa and Mastercard transactions between January 1, 2004, and January 25, 2019.
Factors Influencing Payout Amount:

  • The total dollar value of all valid claims filed.
  • The cost of class administration and notice.
  • Applicable taxes on the settlement fund.
  • Attorney fees and expenses.

Money awards to the Rule 23(b)(3) Class Plaintiffs for their representation of merchants in MDL 1720, culminating in the Class Settlement Agreement, all approved by the Court.

The Visa and Mastercard settlement represents a significant resolution to a long-standing issue affecting merchants and consumers. By understanding the details and eligibility criteria, businesses may use this settlement to recoup some costs incurred from inflated swipe fees. For more information and to submit your claim, visit the official settlement website: https://www.paymentcardsettlement.com/en

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