In September 2018, Mastercard and Visa agreed to pay up to $6.2 billion to merchants in a class action lawsuit claiming that these credit card companies illegally fixed transaction fees. If your business has accepted these credit cards for financial transactions since January 2004, you could be eligible for a piece of the settlement.
Read on to learn more about how to claim your spot in this class action suit.
Determine whether you are a class member
The class includes merchants to whom Visa and Mastercard charged interchange fees between 2004 and January 2018. However, you are not eligible if you already settled a lawsuit about this issue. Affected plaintiffs should have already received mailed notification; however, you can call 1-800-625-6440 or email [email protected] to check your status and/or register as a class member.
Await claim notification
Once the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York gives final approval for the settlement amount, class members will receive the opportunity to complete a claim form. You must provide support for the value of your claim, which equals the amount of money you paid on interchange fees during the dates listed above. However, the final settlement amount you will receive depends on how many class members submit a claim.
The approval hearing is currently scheduled for November 2019. Prior to that date, you can provide comments in support of your position that the judge will review.
As a merchant, you can also decide to opt out of the class action settlement. If you take this route, you will not receive money as part of the class action suit. However, you can sue Visa and MasterCard separately in an attempt to recoup your associated losses. You can also object to the settlement as a class member.
If you are unsure about how to proceed, talk to an attorney. He or she can determine whether you are an eligible class member and advise about next steps.