WASHINGTON, DC — Today powerful online influencer Brian Kelly, “The Points Guy,” is slated to attend the American Bankers Association’s Washington Summit to promote industry efforts to defeat the Credit Card Competition Act — legislation to lower costs for consumers and business owners alike by increasing real competition among credit card processor companies. Ahead of the event, government watchdog Accountable.US released an analysis detailing Kelly’s “symbiotic” relationship with the credit card industry. While Kelly often portrays himself as an honest and unbiased broker to his followers, his lucrative and shadowy ties to credit card companies show he is no credible validator for the industry’s position against the Credit Card Competition Act. *See the analysis HERE.

The credit card industry is spending millions trying to convince Congress that more competition is a bad thing, and recruiting influential paid shills like The Points Guy is part of their misinformation strategy. The fact remains, lack of competition is why business owners are burdened with record high swipe fees that get passed onto consumers, raising costs on everything from gas to groceries even for families who pay in cash."

Liz Zelnick, Director of the Economic Security & Corporate Power team at Accountable.US

“The fact Europeans enjoy generous credit card rewards and low swipe fees proves the scare tactics by U.S. industry lobbyists and paid shills like Brian Kelly are based on greedy self-interest, not reality,” added Zelnick.

BACKGROUND: In November, Accountable.US joined a diverse group of organizations representing workers, small businesses, competition and consumer advocates to launch the ‘Lower Credit Card Fees’ Coalition to dispel myths surrounding the bipartisan Credit Card Competition Act (CCCA) and urging Congress to pass it. The campaign includes a microsite: lowercreditcardfees.com.The Credit Card Competition Act is a crucial step towards rectifying the longstanding hold of the Visa-Mastercard duopoly. Visa and Mastercard’s market power allows them to set sky-high swipe fees, ten times higher than they charge in Europe, that have more than doubled over the past decade. Merchants have no way to negotiate rates and have no choice but to accept the rates Visa and Mastercard set. These fees are then passed onto consumers. As a recent Economic Liberties Myth vs. Fact policy brief explains, the Credit Card Competition Act will require large banks issuing credit cards to offer multiple payment networks on their cards, jump-starting competition that will lower swipe fees and enhance security and other features, ultimately benefiting both consumers and small businesses.



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