Visa Inc. spent $1.69 million in the third quarter to lobby the federal government on the regulation of debit card fees charged to merchants and other issues, according to a disclosure report.
The dust has barely settled over the debit card fee-flap but there’s more news from the big banks regarding fees. The good news is that it’s not all bad this time — both Bank of America and Chase have abandoned fees that were under consideration or in the testing phase. Meanwhile, though, banks are quietly calculating which other ones can take their place.
Debit Card Fee Debacle: Big Banks Could Lose $185 Billion In Deposits Next Year. #SwipeFees (Huff Post)November 22, 2011
The top 10 retail banks are projected to lose $185 billion in deposits over the next year if they dont address consumer concerns, according to a recent study from cg42, a firm that consults with banks. Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo account for nearly three-quarters of the loss, the study found.
Call for antitrust investigation
A day after the anti-Durbin bill was introduced, congressional Democrats asked Attorney General Eric Holder to consider an anti-trust investigation of financial institutions on grounds they are colluding to create new fees to cover losses related to the Durbin Amendment’s debit interchange fee cap.
On Oct. 13, 2011, five Democratic congressmen led by Chief Deputy Whip Peter Welch, D-Vt., wrote Holder asking for the anti-trust investigation of “big banks [that] are coordinating their fee strategies in violation of federal anti-trust laws.”
For years, banks have had an arsenal of fees they could charge consumers to increase revenues, said Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director of U.S. Public Interest Research Group, which published a report, Big Banks, Bigger Fees, earlier this year.
Not content to own just Mastercard (MA), Warren Buffett added Visa (V) to Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRKB) portfolio in the third quarter, according to a filing released after the market closed. Buffett reported owning 2.29 million shares of Visa in the quarter. He maintained his stake in MasterCard, which he also added to the portfolio this year, at 405,000 shares.
Intel Corporation and MasterCard Incorporated announced today a multi-year strategic collaboration to further enhance the security and consumer payment experience for online shopping. “MasterCard is constantly working to improve the shopping experience for consumers and merchants”The collaboration will combine MasterCard’s expertise in payment processing and commerce with Intel’s strengths in silicon innovation and chip-based security. It is designed to provide more options for a safer and simpler checkout process for online merchants and consumers using Ultrabook™ devices and future generations of Intel-based PCs.