Important Deadlines for the Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement

Important Deadlines for the Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement

U.S. business owners who processed Visa and/or Mastercard credit or debit card payments between 2004 and 2019 have until the end of August 2024 to submit a claim for their share of a historic $5.54 billion antitrust class action settlement. Know about all the important deadlines for the payment card interchange fee settlement in this article.

This settlement, approved by the court, addresses allegations that merchants were subjected to unfairly high swipe fees and that Visa, MasterCard, and their associated banks breached antitrust laws by establishing these fees. Following the court’s initiation of the claims process, eligible merchants must either personally file a claim with the Settlement Administrator or have one filed on their behalf to receive any monetary benefits from this settlement before the August 30, 2024, deadline here.

What Are the Important Deadlines for the Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement?

If you are part of the class action lawsuit over the Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement, you must know the significant deadlines and processes for filing your claim. The settlement concerns claims that merchants paid excessive fees to accept Visa and MasterCard payments due to alleged antitrust violations by Visa, MasterCard, and associated banks.

Here are the key deadlines and events in this class action lawsuit:

  • Claims Filing Deadline: The final deadline to submit your claim is August 30, 2024. This applies to claims submitted online or via mail​. It is important to note that, initially, the deadline for online submissions was set for May 31.
  • Opt-Out Deadline for Settlement: The deadline for opting out of the Visa and Mastercard settlement was December 16, 2019.
  • Objection Deadline and Court Approval: The final date to object to the settlement was July 23, 2019. Subsequently, the District Court granted final approval to the settlement on December 16, 2019.
  • Claim Form Distribution: Eligible merchants will receive their claim forms via mail from December 1, 2023, to May 31, 2024, with an extended deadline now set for August 30, 2024. Upon receiving their forms, claimants may submit their claims either online or by mail.
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An Overview of the Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement

The Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement is a substantial legal resolution in which Visa, Mastercard, and several banks have agreed to pay $5.54 billion over claims that they levied overly high interchange fees on merchants. This settlement arises from a class action lawsuit that accused these payment processors and banks of violating antitrust laws. The class includes all U.S. entities that accepted Visa or Mastercard payments from January 1, 2004, to January 25, 2019, except for government entities and the defendants themselves.

Merchants included in the settlement who have not opted out are eligible to file a claim to receive a share of the settlement funds, which are meant to reimburse them for the interchange fees paid during the specified period. The settlement also addresses administration costs, attorney fees, and taxes. Initially set for May 31, 2024, the deadline to submit a claim online has been extended to August 30, 2024.

This litigation has undergone extensive proceedings, with initial approval granted in 2019, followed by numerous legal challenges and appeals. The settlement not only aims to provide financial redress but also to alter the practices of the card issuers. However, many merchants remain dissatisfied, contending that the settlement permits Visa and Mastercard to maintain their previous practices with minimal alterations.

Merchants unsure about their eligibility or needing assistance with claim filing can find resources and support through the Settlement Administrator, with comprehensive details available on the official settlement website.

Interchange Fee Settlement

Understanding the Current Agreement

Visa and Mastercard are involved in a long-standing antitrust lawsuit alleging they have rigidly fixed merchant fees. A recently proposed settlement aims to reduce swipe fees for merchants by $30 billion over five years when consumers use their credit cards.

It’s important to note some limitations of this settlement. It applies only to merchants in the U.S., and it has yet to receive court approval, so it isn’t final. Furthermore, even after approval, the decision could be subject to appeals.

Should the settlement proceed, it could benefit consumers. According to the National Retail Federation, swipe fees typically account for 2% of a transaction, with some rates reaching up to 4% depending on the card type. The proposed settlement would reduce these fees by at least 0.04% for at least three years and mandate that Visa and Mastercard keep the fees set as of December 31, 2023, for five years.

Additionally, the settlement plans to modify network rules concerning transactions and surcharges, granting merchants more control at the point of sale. This includes more freedom to direct customers to preferred payment methods and expanded options for implementing surcharges.

What Is the Settlement Amount?

The settlement amount each merchant receives will depend on several factors, including the total dollar value of all claims filed and the actual or estimated interchange fees paid by each merchant between January 1, 2004, and January 25, 2019.

The total available settlement fund is approximately $5.54 billion, but costs such as administration, taxes, and attorney fees will reduce this.​

How to File a Claim?

You are eligible if you accepted Visa or MasterCard payments in the United States from January 1, 2004, to January 25, 2019, unless you had previously opted out of the settlement by July 23, 2019.

You could file your claim online if you received a Claim Form in the mail with a Claimant ID. If you haven’t received a form, you can still initiate the claim process by providing your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)​​. You can also file your claim by mailing the completed form to:

Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement,

P.O. Box 2530,


Alternatively, you can choose a third -party to handle the settlement in your stead, which can be quite unburdening to the merchants. HMS has partnered with Certificate Clearing Corporation (CCC) so that you can easily SUBMIT A CLAIM here. Certificate Clearing focuses on managing class action settlements with options for cash or transferable coupon compensation. In the $5.54 billion Visa-Mastercard class action settlement, HMS and CCC try to facilitate the monetization of claims, allowing claimants to receive early cash payouts. CCC proactively bids on these claims, potentially enhancing the value of the awards or offering immediate financial advantages to claimants.


U.S. business owners must heed the deadlines and procedures outlined in the Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement. This landmark $5.54 billion settlement addresses long-standing allegations of antitrust violations by Visa, Mastercard, and associated banks, pertaining to exorbitant swipe fees imposed on merchants.

With the August 30, 2024, deadline looming, eligible merchants must ensure the timely submission of their claims for financial restitution. Despite ongoing legal proceedings and potential appeals, this settlement offers a significant opportunity for affected merchants to recoup interchange fees and influence card issuer practices. The Settlement Administrator provides resources and support for merchants seeking guidance or clarification. By staying informed and actively engaging in the claims process, merchants can assert their rights and benefit from this substantial legal resolution.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the deadline for filing a claim?

    The deadline to file a claim for the Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement is now August 30, 2024, extended from May 31, 2024, by a court order.

  2. How can I file a claim?

    You can file online using the Claimant ID or your Taxpayer Identification Number on the settlement website by mailing the completed form to the Settlement Administrator or by using this link to fill out a simple form.

  3. Who is eligible to file a claim?

    Eligibility includes individuals and businesses in the U.S. that accepted Visa or Mastercard from January 1, 2004, to January 25, 2019, excluding specific parties like dismissed plaintiffs and government entities.

  4. What happens if I do not file a claim?

    Failing to file means you won’t receive any compensation from the settlement. Only those who actively file and are eligible will get a share of the funds, determined by factors like total claims and interchange fees paid during the specified period.

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