As a family-owned Wisconsin business, we were surprised to read Madison Ald. Paul Skidmore’s misleading take on the need for reform of credit card fees known as interchange or “swipe fees.”

Customers unknowingly hand over money to the big credit card companies and banks in the form of hidden swipe fees. Despite Skidmore’s claims, these fees aren’t there to cover the cost of processing credit card transactions. Those costs have gone down dramatically for banks over the years, while swipe fees have gone up.

Swipe fees are there to pad the bottom lines of the credit card companies and banks, at the expense of local consumers and retailers.

What Skidmore failed to acknowledge is that Wisconsin families are currently burdened by over $400 in fee payments yearly, and they’re going up. And research shows these fees hit low- and middle-income families the hardest, at a time when Wisconsin businesses like us rely on loyal customers to keep us afloat, and that’s why we support interchange reform that will benefit us all.

— Steve Loehr, La Crosse, vice president of operations support for Kwik Trip Inc.

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