Dear Editor:

My name is Jon McCormick with the Retail Grocers Association of Kansas and Missouri, which represents almost 400 grocery and convenience stores in Kansas and Missouri. Our Members are in the business of putting food on their customers’ tables and do the same for their hard-working employees who count on their stores for their livelihood.

I am concerned about an issue that affects all small businesses, our members, and their customers across Kansas and Missouri – SKYROCKETING “swipe” fees that the big banks and global card networks charge to process credit card transactions.

Swipe fees skim over 2 percent off of each transaction and leave merchants with less than 98 cents on the dollar. The amount that the credit cards take is well more than the average 1 percent profit margin in the grocery industry, meaning that banks and card networks make more money on a bag of groceries than Supermarket Retailers do.

Swipe fees are the highest operating cost for grocery stores, after labor, and drive-up prices for customers. They have been rising for years and soared by 25 percent last year to a record $137.8 billion when debit cards are included – about $900 for the average family. (And check out their CEO’s salaries!)

See more in this weeks Boone County Journal