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Walmart and Target among 1,600 merchants calling for credit-card fee law, says WSJ

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Merchants such as Target Corp. [s] and Walmart Inc. WMT, -0.22% signed on to a letter asking Congress to pass a law that would require options for the routing of credit-card transactions over alternative networks, according to The Wall Street Journal. Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, and Sen. Roger Marshall, a Kansas Republican, who introduced such a bill back in July, said that alternate routing options would increase competition and lead to lower swipe fees when people use many Visa Inc. V, -0.13% and Mastercard Inc. MA, +0.13% credit cards. “Swipe fees for credit cards are higher in the United States than anywhere else in the industrialized world-more than seven times as high as Europe,” a group of more than 1,600 merchants said in their letter, the Journal reported Wednesday. Debit cards already carry a requirement for routing options in most cases. Visa Chief Financial Officer Vasant Prabhu addressed the proposed legislation at a Goldman Sachs conference earlier this week, saying that there is already “a ton of competition” in the credit-card business and that reductions in interchange fees as a result of any new laws could impact the rewards landscape for consumers.

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