Payment Card Interchange Fee and

Merchant Discount Antitrust Settlement

 

If your business accepted payment by Visa or MasterCard debit and/or credit cards on or after

January 1, 2004, a class action settlement may affect you.

 

Latest Update: The Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed approval of the settlement and returned the case to the District Court on June 30, 2016. Litigation is ongoing. No claim forms are available at this time, and no claim-filing deadline exists. If another settlement is reached, no-cost assistance will be available from the Class Administrator and Class Counsel during any claims-filing period. No one is required to sign up with any third-party service in order to participate in any settlement. For additional information regarding the status of the litigation, interested persons may visit www.paymentcardsettlement.com, the Court-approved website for this case.


POTENTIAL SETTLEMENT FUND: $5.7 Billion Class Action Settlement

 

Important Additional Information:   The Claims Form for this suit is not yet available.  Class members need not sign up for a third party service in order to participate in any monetary relief and during the claims-filing period no-cost assistance will be available from the Class Administrator and Class Counsel.  Additional information about this settlement can be found on the Court Approved Website   at www.paymentcardsettlement.com where you can preregister and find answers to most of your questions. 

 
Eligible Class Members: The majority of the settlement fund applies to businesses or other entities who accepted Visa or MasterCard debit and/or credit card payments on or after January 1, 2004 to November 28, 2012. Several lawsuits were filed by retailers in 2005 accusing Visa, MasterCard and American Express of fixing fees for processing credit and debit card payments and prohibiting stores from steering their customers toward use of lower-cost payment instruments, such as credit cards with lower reward structures, which results in merchants paying higher interchange fees (as defined below). On December 13, 2013 the Court issued final approval of the Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Settlement and the settlement fund was reduced to $5.7 Billion to account for class members who opted out. As part of the settlement, the Settling Defendants will reduce interchange fees that would otherwise be paid by merchants on Visa and MasterCard credit card transactions by 10 basis points over an eight-month period beginning in July 2013 and agreed to significant rule changes which are aimed at reducing future fees and transactional costs (see below). This portion of the settlement was originally valued at $1.2 billion. Future updates will be provided on significant developments in the settlement.

 

Processing Rule Changes: Consistent with new protocols, merchants will have the right to apply surcharges or checkout fees.   Lower cost fees may be negotiated through Buying Groups. FRS will provide information on the most effective way to take advantage of the new rules so that its clients may receive the full 10 basis point reduction in fees.

 
Definition of Interchange Fee: An “interchange fee” is a fee paid by merchants to the payment card companies for each retail transaction that uses a credit or debit card. This fee ranges from between 1% and 5% of the transaction.

 

Monarch Cost Consultants has partnered with Financial Recovery Strategies who are experts in class action settlement claim filing. The two settlements they are currently focusing on are the $5.7 Billion Payment Card (Visa/MasterCard) Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount and the $1.1 Billion TFT-LCD Indirect Class Action Settlement.  If you wish to learn more about either of these settlements or the value Financial Recovery Strategies can bring to your company please visit their website at FRSco.com.

 

The 33% Contingent Fee Services Provided to Our Clients Include:  FRS, Financial Recovery Strategies, is a third-party claim filing firm, not the court appointed class counsel or class administrator. They will review data and documentation for settlement eligibility, including verifying and cataloging information into concise schedules. When necessary, FRS will provide guidance in identifying supporting documentation to substantiate claims. They will work within your guidelines to file complete and accurate claims. Throughout their engagement they will be available to answer questions, monitor the progress of the settlement and provide periodic updates.  As of now claim forms are not yet available. When the settlement is complete They will verify accurate distribution amounts, take steps to correct discrepancies and provide a detailed accounting of the claim. In addition, FRS will identify new settlement and recovery opportunities that will be sent directly to you. Please understand that you have the right to file a claim on your own behalf at no cost, and if FRS is hired, their standard commission is a 33% (thirty-three percent) contingent fee only paid upon recovery of funds. To learn more about their services visit FRS at www.FRSco.com.  Once you read, understand and sign the FRS Authorization Form, they will begin to represent your organization's interests.

 

 

 

To Request Information, Contact Us or call Cherelyn Riesmeyer at 800-598-5587.

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