Here's What You Need to Know About the Visa/MasterCard Settlement

As a merchant who accepts Visa and Mastercard as a form of payment, you’ve most likely received a NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AUTHORIZED BY THE U.S. DISTRICT COURT, EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK indicating that the Court has preliminarily approved a superseding settlement of $5.54 billion in a class action lawsuit, called In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1720 (MKB) (JO).

The lawsuit is about claims that merchants (you!) paid excessive fees to accept Visa and Mastercard cards because Visa and Mastercard, individually, and together with their respective member banks, violated the antitrust laws.

In short, if you’ve been accepting Visa and Mastercard anytime between January 1, 2004 and January 25, 2019, as a member of this class action suit you have an opportunity to get paid back a portion of what you have overpaid in interchange fees during the time your account has been active.

We’ve had many questions about this class action lawsuit and the pending settlement, so we are writing to share what we know.

Brief Update
In 2018, and after years of litigation and the reversal of an earlier settlement, the parties reached this superseding settlement, which the Court finally approved on December 13, 2019. Under the terms of the superseding settlement, claim forms are to be disseminated to merchant-class members as soon as the Court’s final approval becomes final, which, unless appeals are filed, would have been on January 21, 2020. Unfortunately, however, several appeals have been filed. As a result, the approval of the superseding settlement will not become final until those and any other appeals are resolved.

Who has to file a claim?
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all merchants, and all merchants are eligible to receive a portion of the settlement. Only you may file a claim. Please note that, as of this date, the timing of the claim filing process and the determination of how much will be distributed is not yet known.

Can Commonwealth Consulting Group file my claim for me?
No. As a merchant services company, CCG is not involved in the lawsuit, so only you may file a claim and only Visa/MC can reimburse you via the settlement. Even though CCG issues the merchant account you use to process transactions, we don’t set the interchange rates so we are not a part of this suit.

Meet our partner, Financial Recovery Strategies
Although CCG is not permitted to file your claim on your behalf, you may retain the services of our partner, Financial Recovery Strategies (FRS) to help manage your claim and assist in getting back the money you overpaid. FRS is a class action recovery and cost savings firm that specializes in, among other services, class action settlement claims recovery; they are not a court-appointed claims administrator or class counsel. As such, FRS is paid on an agreed-upon contingent-fee basis only upon and from the recoveries they obtain.

How do I retain FRS to help manage my claim?
If you would like to engage Financial Recovery Services, please visit their dedicated portal by CLICKING HERE FOR THE ONLINE AGREEMENT. On that web portal, you may retain FRS by first completing the required fields and submitting the form. This will generate an email with an agreement and an authorization to file your claim. Both of these documents may be signed electronically. FRS will then work with Commonwealth Consulting Group to submit the required documents and information to obtain your recovery.

Note: After you click “Submit” on your online form, you will receive an email from Harris Love, EVP at FRS within moments. If you do not receive the email, please check your SPAM or Junk Mail folder and it should be there to finalize the process.

Do I have to use FRS to file my claim?
No. Class members have the right to file on their own. You should have received an official claim notice in the mail with details about how to register for your settlement. If you didn’t receive your notice, or if you moved your business to a new location, you may request a new notice by submitting a form HERE.

This should pretty much sum it up for you, but if you’d like to go straight to the source for additional information, please use the links below.

Helpful Links:

Settlement Website
Official FAQ
Official Notice

Note: No claim forms are available at this time, and no claim filing deadline has been set. Class members have the right to file on their own. No-cost assistance will be available from the Class Administrator and Class Counsel during the claims-filing period. As set forth in FRS’s Class Action Summary, FRS believes that it provides services that could increase a class member’s potential recovery and that are unlikely to be provided by the Class Administrator or Class Counsel. For additional information, class members can visit the court-approved website at, or contact Class Counsel or the Class Administrator.