Is the Visa FANF Legal?

Many of you have probably noticed the new Visa fee (Fixed Acquirer Network Fee “FANF”) on your monthly statement.  Some of you are probably thinking, “How can Visa charge another fee??  Haven’t they already found every way to nickel and dime me!?!?”  Unfortunately not…  However, the Merchant Payments Coalition has raised the red flag on Visa’s new fee and the Department of Justice will be looking into the validity of Visa’s new fee. 

 

In a nutshell, the Coalition claims that, “The new fee charged by Visa would make merchants pay for both credit and debit cards and financially coerce merchants into accepting cards they do not want. The fee would also undercut merchants’ competitive choice of which network to use for their transactions in violation of the financial reform law.” 

 

The Coalition is defending what we know as the Durbin Amendment.  The Durbin Amendment has two main issues:

  1. Reducing Debit Card Fees
  2. Providing a competitive environment for credit card processors.

 

The second issue is what the Department of Justice will be looking into to see if Visa is breaking any antitrust law.  Since Visa is requiring a fee each month just to use their services they could be in violation of the Durbin Amendment. 

 

The Department of Justice started reviewing this complaint in May, so hopefully in a couple of months they will have a decision on this matter.  We will keep you informed on the status of this issue.  As always, if you have any questions regarding merchant services, please do not hesitate to contact Cart32. 

 

Sources:
Yahoo! Finance
NerdWallet

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