Some retailers demanding lower credit card transaction fees

MANATEE — The swipe of a credit card is a swift and convenient action for consumers. But those types of purchases are taking a chunk out of profits, and small business owners say the cost is too steep. The credit card interchange fees they’re charged for every credit transaction, retailers say, are unfair and excessive.

"Processing fees as a whole have just caused a great problem," said Rick Vitale, owner of Pup In A Tub in Bradenton.

The credit industry defends the fees as a cost of doing business. They average 2 percent per transaction and are paid by retailers on a monthly basis.

Interchange fees depend on the number of credit card uses, purchase amounts and the retailer’s contract with its processor.

The fee covers the advanced payment the retailer receives on a credit purchase, as well as the risk that the consumer's card limit doesn't cover the charge, according to the Electronic Payments Coalition, a national group that represents banks and credit card companies.

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