Gravity Payments

What you should know about the Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement

What is the Visa/Mastercard, Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement? The Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, known as the “Settlement,” alleges that Visa and Mastercard breached antitrust laws by imposing high interchange fees on merchants. These fees were allegedly a result of collusion among the Defendants. The Court approved the Settlement on […]

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What is the Visa/Mastercard, Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement?

The Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, known as the “Settlement,” alleges that Visa and Mastercard breached antitrust laws by imposing high interchange fees on merchants. These fees were allegedly a result of collusion among the Defendants. The Court approved the Settlement on December 13, 2019, paving the way for eligible merchants to claim a portion of the settlement funds amounting to billions.

Plaintiffs argue that Visa and Mastercard violated antitrust regulations by setting interchange fees and enforcing regulations that restricted merchants from directing customers to alternative payment methods. For instance, rules prohibiting surcharges, discounts, and mandating acceptance of all cards led to merchants paying excessive fees for accepting Visa and Mastercard.

 

What is the current status of the Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement?

The Settlement was granted final approval by the District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed oral arguments and upheld all aspects of the District Court’s final approval order, except for one aspect. The window for filing appeals has closed.

Claim submissions are currently being accepted. Claim Forms for known Class Members were mailed out starting December 2023, and continue to be mailed on a rolling basis. If you did not receive a Claim Form in the mail you may still submit a claim.

Claim filing deadline is May 31st 2024.

 

Who is eligible for the Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement? 

Any business/merchant who accepted Visa and Mastercard branded cards in the United States any time from January 1, 2004, to January 25, 2019.

 

If I am eligible, what are my options? 

File a Claim

Claims forms became available and were delivered online beginning in December 2023. The last day for eligible merchants to submit a claim is May 31, 2024 at 11:59PM PST.

Filing a claim with either a third-party, like Gravity’s Recovery Service, or on your own is the only way for an eligible merchants to potentially receive money from this settlement.

 

Use the Gravity Payments Recovery Team* for end-to-end claims service.
    • As a part of our service we help to acquire as much of the historical data applicable to the settlement as possible.
    • Fill out all the necessary documentation
    • Submit a comprehensive claim on your behalf to maximize your recoveries
    • Reconcile returns on behalf of our merchants
    • Distribute net recoveries from the settlement funds

*The Gravity Payments Recovery Team provides these services on a contingent fee basis – if there is no recovery, there will be no fee.

Merchants do not have to sign up for a third party service to be able to participate in the Settlement.

File a claim on your own.
    • Assistance filing a claim is available to eligible merchants, at no cost to them, from the Claims Administrator and lawyers representing the merchants as a class. Visit www.paymentcardsettlement.com for more info.

 

Do Nothing

You do not have to join Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement. However, if you do not file a claim, you will not be eligible for any settlement money.  At the time of this writing, no deadline for filing a claim has been provided.

 

Excuse yourself

The time has passed to be able to opt-out of class action settlement. Merchants would have needed to excuse themselves by July 23rd, 2019. If you did choose  to exclude yourself, you are ineligible to receive any funds from this settlement. For further detailed information, visit the Official Court-authorized settlement website at www.paymentcardsettlement.com.

 

How much money will I get back? 

The amount paid from the settlement will be based on the actual or estimated interchange fees attributed to Visa and Mastercard transactions between January 2004 and January 2019.

This settlement operates on a fixed fund basis. We anticipate the total value of claims to surpass the settlement fund, so all submissions could be proportionally reduced. This means those submitting claims will receive a fraction of their estimated interchange fee volume during the settlement period. Currently, there’s no way to accurately project how much money you could get back.

As an example, if the total settlement fund amounts to $5 billion and valid claims sum up to $125 billion, the payout will represent a proportional share for each $1.00 claimed. In this scenario, with $125 billion in claims against a $5 billion fund, each claimant would receive a gross payout of $0.04 for every $1.00 of valid claims made.

There’s a possibility for substantial returns as some of the largest merchants—such as Wal-Mart, Amazon, Delta Airlines, American Airlines, and Google—have either received compensation from the Defendants or have chosen to opt out of the settlement class.

 

How do I file a claim with the Gravity Recovery Team? 

Claim forms were delivered and were available online beginning December 1, 2023. If you are a current Gravity merchant and accepted Visa/Mastercard payments during January 1, 2004, to January 25, 2019 and would like use the Gravity Recovery Team to handle the claims process on your behalf, fill out this inquiry form and our team will reach out to you within 48 business hours with next steps.

 

Already filled out the inquiry form? 

We will be in touch via email with next steps within 48 business hours. Haven’t heard from us yet? Please check your spam folder or email us at [email protected].

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