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Treasurers struggle with the rising cost of payment cards

Higher merchant fees are creating issues for corporate treasurers, who are concerned with the lack of alternatives in the market.


Corporate treasurers voiced their concerns about credit and debit cards on Monday at the Money 20/20 Europe conference, as part of the panel discussion ‘Merchant voices – friction points for global retailers’.

Primarily, the treasurers – mostly US-based – were concerned there is no viable alternative in the cards space, with the global market dominated by Visa and Mastercard.

They said they were left with no option than to accept the fees these companies impose, and that they do not have an organization they can put their grievances to.

Troy Carrothers, senior vice-president at Kohl’s Department Stores, says: “Who is going to stop accepting Visa and Mastercard? Antitrust authorities need to look at the costs they are imposing on merchants.”

Having the market dominated by a small number of providers, regardless of their expertise and global scale, also has an effect when things go wrong.

Reed Luhtanen,

Reed Luhtanen, senior director of global treasury at Walmart, says: “It is important for there to be multiple options during each leg of the chain for both e-commerce and in-store.

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