Exclusive: NRF Survey Shows Less than One-Quarter of Consumers Trust Credit Card Companies

WASHINGTON – Less than one-quarter (21%) of consumers believe that credit card companies are honest and trustworthy when they advocate before Congress on the fees they charge retailers to accept their cards, according to a survey released today by the National Retail Federation1. The Credit Card Competition Act, which is currently under consideration before Congress, would require that there be at least two competing processing networks enabled on each card, potentially saving American businesses and consumers an estimated $15 billion per year.

This is in addition to previous NRF surveys that found:

  • 81% of consumers support federal legislation that would allow for greater competition to lower credit card fees for small businesses2.
  • 73% of consumers say they trust small businesses over large institutional banks when it comes to advocating for policies that impact consumers.
    • That goes up to 77% among women (versus 68% among men)3.

“Rising credit card swipe fees are hidden taxes on small businesses and consumers,” NRF Senior Vice President of Government Relations David French said. “It’s time for Congress to pass the Credit Card Competition Act.”

Swipe fees are most merchants’ highest costs after labor and drive up prices paid by consumers by more than $1,000 a year for the average family. U.S. retailers and merchants pay the highest swipe fees in the industrialized world — $126.4 billion in swipe fees were paid by businesses for credit card transactions in 2022, a 20% increase from the previous year.

As the leading authority and voice for the retail industry, NRF has spearheaded efforts for payments policy reform, including a grassroots campaign to level the playing field for small businesses and retail merchants across the country.

1The survey of 8,084 U.S. consumers was conducted September 1 – 6 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

2NRF conducted a nationally representative poll of 1,000 consumers July 24 – 25, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

3The survey of 8,185 U.S. consumers was conducted August 1 – 6 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

About NRF 
The National Retail Federation passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail succeed. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies. nrf.com