Investor Agenda

7-Eleven Fighting Fees


7-Eleven is 'ringing up' concerns on credit card fees.

On Wednesday, the convenience store chain delivered a petition to Capitol Hill Wednesday with nearly 1.7 million signatures on it, urging Congress to pass legislation from stopping credit cards in charging 'excessive transaction fees.'

The Cost of Convenience

On the Closing Bell show, 7-Eleven CEO Joseph DePinto told Maria Bartiromo the company is paying "twice the average of these fees that are paid around the world. VISA and MasterCard together have over 80% market share and have been unwilling to sit down with retailers in a meaningful way and negotiate those interchange fees."

CNBC contacted VISA on the matter and they stated " we find it disingenuous that 7-Eleven claims they lack the ability to negotiate acceptance costs with Visa, when in fact they have negotiated with us. Visa has always shown a willingness to collaborate with retailers to develop solutions that help them address bottom-line business objectives."

MasterCard also told CNBC "many consumers may have been duped into signing the petition. A full 75% of consumers said they would oppose the legislation once they understood that it would cost them more through higher fees to use their payment cards."

Usage of credit cards at 7-Eleven has risen through the years. DePinto told Bartiromo "usage was about 20% in 2002. 2008 it came in at about 50%, but we are paying more in fees to VISA and MasterCard even with that increased volume."

Consumer costs may be on the rise, yet perception may not be favorable to 7-Eleven's appeal. In a study released by VISA, 78% of consumers believe the value and benefits retailers receive from accepting credit and debit cards outweigh the costs of accepting them. By a 2-and-1 margin, consumers also say retailers should pay the costs of accepting credit and debit cards.

Donna Burton contributed to this article.



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