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LAS VEGAS — Keeping the convenience store industry one of the most vibrant channels in the retail world is priority No. 1 for NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, and one of the ways it is achieving this is by continuing the fight for change in the "broken" payments system.
As part of his 2014 NACS Show address, NACS President and CEO Hank Armour provided an update on the association's ongoing efforts to rein in interchange fees, otherwise known as swipe fees.
NACS, along with all the other retail industry associations, is a plaintiff in the appeal seeking to overturn the $5.7-billion credit card interchange fee settlement approved by the court in December 2013.
Despite overwhelming objection by retailers and numerous companies — large and small — opting out of the settlement, the court still approved it, according to Armour, prompting the current appeal.
"Our objections are still being debated," he told showgoers during his Oct. 9 speech. "We've always told you and we've always known that this would be a long battle, and it certainly is."
The appeal argues that U.S. District Judge John Gleeson approved the credit card swipe fee settlement with Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. after it was negotiated by only a handful of merchants. In addition, the appeal claims the settlement fails to bring the fees under control.
Retailers first filed suit against Visa and MasterCard in 2005. The class-action lawsuit alleged Visa and MasterCard illegally fixed credit card interchange swipe fees.
"We are not going to give up," Armour pledged, noting that NACS will continue to battle both in the courts and in Congress. "They are not going to wear us down."