Payment Card Fee Settlement Claim Submission

Article Payments & Treasury Solutions

court settlement

This article has been updated.

In an Order dated May 14, 2024, the Court granted an extension of the claims-filing deadline. The deadline to submit claims is August 30, 2024.

It is time to submit a claim.  No, it’s not a dream.  Yes, it’s time and it’s about time!

According to the Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement Official Court-Authorized Settlement website, “claim forms began mailing on Dec. 1, 2023…Because of the large number of claim forms being sent, you may not receive yours until late December 2023, or January 2024.”  The website simplifies the process of filing a claim by featuring a prominent “Submit a Claim” button at the top of its page.

Not sure what I’m talking about?  Here’s a quick recap:

What is this about?

A class-action lawsuit was filed in 2005 against Visa and Mastercard, alleging they conspired to charge merchants high interchange fees at the same time they imposed rules restricting or preventing merchants from encouraging customers to choose alternate (presumably less costly) payment methods.

What parties are included in the Settlement Class?

“All persons, businesses, and other entities that have accepted any Visa-Branded Cards and/or Mastercard-Branded Cards in the United States at any time…”1 during the period covered by the lawsuit. I’ll note here that although it is a class-action lawsuit, some businesses, including a handful of universities, decided not to be a part of this lawsuit. Those businesses are considered dismissed plaintiffs. The Settlement Class does not include “Dismissed Plaintiffs.”1

Who are the Dismissed Plaintiffs?

The Dismissed Plaintiffs are plaintiffs that previously settled and dismissed their own lawsuit against a Defendant [Visa and Mastercard], and entities related to those plaintiffs. If you are uncertain about whether you may be a Dismissed Plaintiff, you should call 1-800-625-6440 or view the list of Dismissed Plaintiffs for more information.”1

What is the covered period (aka Class Period)?

January 1, 2004 to January 25, 2019. Dust off those aged and yellowed merchant statements you’ve been diligently keeping since the suit was filed. You may need them to file a claim. If you do not have the statements right now, it’s okay. Don’t let that stop you from filing your claim. Talk to your processor to see if they can help you obtain the statements or estimate the amount of interchange you paid during the 15-year Class Period. Remember, all your merchant accounts are included in this, regardless of the processor, or how many processors you used during the Class Period. Reach out to your processors and former processors for help if you find you need additional supporting documents. I seriously doubt you will be the only one asking.

What’s the next step?

Submit a claim. Locate the claim form mailed to you between December 1, 2023, and now. You should have received a claim form stating that you are part of the Settlement Class. This form also provides you a “10-character alphanumeric Claimant ID and a 6-digit Control Number. This will be found near the bottom of the Claim Form.”1 You will need that information plus some supporting documentation, including your merchant statements.

If you have not received a claim form, I suggest the following:

  • Confirm you are not on the Dismissed Plaintiff list.
  • Check with the General Council Office and your C-Suite offices to see if they received the claim form.
  • Keep looking and asking others to do the same, especially your merchant departments. There is a chance it has not arrived yet.
  • Contact the number provided on the official website.

Note: You may receive a claim form for each merchant statement you owned during the Class Period.

How much time do you have to file a claim?

The deadline for filing a claim for the Visa and Mastercard Class action lawsuit has been extended to August 30, 2024.  The claim filing deadline was originally May 31, 2024.

How much money will you receive?

Well, that’s not clear at the moment. According to the Settlement Agreement2 “the value of each claim will be based on the actual or estimated interchange fees attributable to the merchant’s Mastercard and Visa payment card transactions [during the Class Period].” It goes on to say “Pro rata payments to merchants who file valid claims for a portion of the class settlement fund will be based on:

  • The amount in the class settlement fund after the deductions described below,
  • The deduction to account for certain merchants who exclude themselves from the class,
  • Deductions for the cost of settlement administration and notice, applicable taxes on the settlement fund and any other related tax expenses, money awarded to the Rule 23(b)(3) Class Plaintiffs for their service on behalf of the Class, and attorneys’ fees and expenses, all as approved by the Court, and
  • The total dollar value of all valid claims filed.”

Don’t get caught up in how much you should expect. I think that’s referred to as “counting your chickens before they hatch.” There are definitely chicks in these eggs, but how big or small they are is still to be determined. Submit your claim(s).

Other things to consider:

Reach out right now to let your CFO, Legal Office, and merchant departments know that they need to forward all related communications they receive to you or your designated primary point of contact for coordination and response. Tell them they should expect to see an uptick in the emails and sales calls from third parties offering to help you file the claim and obtain your part of the $5.6 billion settlement. You are NOT required to use a third party to file a claim. If you are considering external help, please reach out to CampusGuard’s Treasury Solutions team.

Finally, I’ll add a reminder that scammers are always looking for ways to steal money. Set up a single point of contact for your merchant departments and managers to reach out to with questions. Should you opt to enlist the assistance of a third party, I suggest arranging for your business, rather than the third party, to directly receive the settlement from the courts. After all, it is your money and you’ve only been waiting for about 20 years for settlement.

Information in this blog pertaining to the class-action lawsuit was obtained from the Official Court-Authorized Settlement website. If you’re uncertain about how developments in the payments space relate to your business, rely on a trusted partner like CampusGuard for assistance. Please feel free to reach out today.


About the Author
Ruth Harpool

Ruth Harpool


Treasury Solutions Advisor

Ruth provides consulting in the areas of Treasury Operations, Payments, and Payments Risk management. She has over 30 years of experience in banking services, banking operations, not-for-profit treasury cash management, and payments management operational leadership. Formerly, Ruth was the Managing Director of Treasury Operations at Indiana University.