The Consumer's Nickel

Kum & Go collects more than 40,000 signatures for "Fight Swipe Fees" campaign

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Kum & Go LC said that it has collected more than 40,000 signatures from customers wanting to control and reduce credit- and debit-card swipe or interchange fees put on customer transactions. The signatures were collected in just one month from all Kum & Go stores as a part of the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Fight Swipe Fees petition drive.

"Kum & Go joined NACS and their campaign to Fight Swipe Fees to reduce costs to our customers," said Kyle J. Krause, Kum & Go president and CEO. "Unfortunately the high costs [image-nocss] of these credit-card fees are passed onto the consumer. It is our corporate responsibility to try to reduce these fees and pass that savings onto our customers."

Generally, credit-card swipe fees range from 2% to 3% on consumer purchases. NACS research shows that interchange fees in the United States are three to four times higher than most other countries. Many retailers cite credit card fees as their second largest store-level operating expense, behind only labor.

These fees have a significant but little known impact on consumers, said Kum & Go. Swipe fees add approximately 5 cents to the cost of each gallon of gasoline that customers purchase. Last year, American families paid an average of $427 in credit and debit swipe feesthis figure has tripled since 2001. Americans paid over $48 billion in interchange fees in 2008, more than twice of what was paid in credit-card late fees and three times the amount of ATM fees

West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go has to more than 430 convenience stores in 11 states (Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming). In addition to a wide selection of products, Kum & Go provides customers a proprietary mix of products under the well-known Hiland brand name. Other proprietary product offerings include Java Ridge Premium Coffee, Napa Creek and Sea Ridge wines, Go Fresh Market sandwiches and Nuclear energy drinks.

(Click here for previous CSP Daily News coverage of internchange fees.)