Frequently Asked Questions

Basic Information

  1. Why did I receive a notice?
  2. What is this settlement about?
  3. What is an interchange fee?
  4. Why is this a class action?
  5. Why is there a settlement?
  6. Am I part of this settlement?
  7. What is the status of the settlement?

Settlement Benefits

  1. How much money will be provided in this settlement?
  2. How much money will I get?
  3. What do the members of the Rule Changes Settlement Class get?
  4. How do I tell the Court if I don’t like the settlement?

How to File a Claim Form

  1. How do I file a claim?
  2. How can I be sure I will receive a Claim Form?
  3. Who decides the value of my claim?
  4. If I excluded myself from the Cash Settlement Class, can I get anything from this settlement?
  1. Do I need to use a third-party claim filing service?
  2. What was Preregistration?
  3. Why did the Preregistration Portal close? Will I be able to preregister later?
  4. May I have access to my Preregistration information?
  5. Though the Preregistration portal closed, can third-party filing services still register on behalf of their clients?

The Lawyers Representing You

  1. Who are the lawyers that represent the Classes?
  2. How much will the lawyers and Class Plaintiffs be paid?

Getting More Information

  1. How can I change my address?
  2. How do I get more information?
  3. What is the full text of the Releases for the Cash Settlement Class?
  4. What is the full text of the Release for the Rule Changes Settlement Class?

Basic Information

  1. Why did I receive a notice?

    Long-Form Notices were mailed to likely Class Members in early 2013. If a Long-Form Notice was mailed to you, records provided to the Class Administrator indicate that you are probably included in the settlement. The Long-Form Notice tells you about your rights and options in this settlement.

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  2. What is this settlement about?

    A $6+ billion settlement will provide payments and other benefits to merchants that accepted Visa and MasterCard since 2004.

    The proposed settlement resolves a lawsuit over whether Visa, MasterCard, and their respective member banks violated the law by setting interchange fees and then made and enforced rules that prohibited merchants from steering customers to other payment methods, resulting in merchants paying excessive fees to accept Visa and MasterCard cards.

    On December 13, 2013 the Court overseeing this class action granted final approval to the settlement. Also on December 13, a number of merchants submitted notices to the Court that they plan to appeal. The settlement will not become final until all appeals have been resolved.

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  3. What is an interchange fee?

    When a cardholder makes a purchase with a credit or debit card, there is an interchange fee attributable to those transactions, which is usually 1% to 2% of the purchase price. Interchange fees typically account for the greatest part of the fees paid by merchants for accepting Visa and MasterCard cards.

    Visa and MasterCard set interchange fee rates for different kinds of transactions and publish them on their websites, usually twice a year.

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  4. Why is this a class action?

    In a class action, a very small number of people or businesses sue not only for themselves, but also on behalf of other people or businesses with similar legal claims and interests. Together all of these people or businesses with similar claims and interests form a class, and are class members. When a court decides a case or approves a settlement, it is applicable to all members of the class except those who validly request to be excluded from the settlement.

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  5. Why is there a settlement?

    The Court has not decided which side was right or wrong or if any laws were violated. Instead, both sides agreed to settle the case and avoid the cost and risk of trial and appeals that would follow a trial. In this case, the settlement is the product of extensive negotiations, including Court-supervised mediation. Settling this case allows Class Members to receive payments and other benefits. The Class Plaintiffs and their lawyers believe this settlement is best for the Classes.

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  6. Am I part of this settlement?

    This case involves two Settlement Classes. Both Class definitions include individuals, businesses and other entities who accepted Visa-Branded Cards and/or MasterCard-Branded cards in the United States since January 1, 2004. Individuals, businesses and other entities may be included in one or both class definitions.

    The Cash Settlement Class (or “Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class”) consists of all persons, businesses, or other entities that accepted Visa-Branded Cards and/or MasterCard-Branded Cards in the United States at any time from January 1, 2004 to November 28, 2012.

    The Rule Changes Settlement Class (or “Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class”) consists of all persons, businesses or other entities that as of November 28, 2012, or in the future accept any Visa-Branded Cards and/or MasterCard-Branded Cards in the United States.

    If a Long-Form Notice was mailed to you, the records provided to the Class Administrator indicate that you are probably included in the settlement.

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  7. What is the status of the settlement?

    The December 13, 2013 decision of the Court which granted approval to the settlement is currently being appealed. Claim forms are not available at this time and will not be available until after all appeals are resolved. It is unknown how long the appeals process will take.

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Settlement Benefits

  1. How much money will be provided in this settlement?

    Provided any appeals have been resolved and the settlement has become effective, valid claimants will be eligible to receive payments after all claims have been processed. Payments will be related to two different funds: a Cash Settlement Fund and an Interchange Fund. These funds will be used to pay valid claims filed, the costs of class administration and notice, money awards to Class plaintiffs, and attorneys’ fees and expenses approved by the Court.

    The first fund is a Cash Settlement Fund. The Cash Settlement Fund consists of $6.05 billion, reduced by 25% to account for merchants who excluded themselves from the Cash Settlement Class. The amount of money each eligible claimant will receive from the Cash Settlement Fund will depend on the total dollar value of all valid claims filed, the costs of class administration and notice, money awards to Class Plaintiffs, and attorneys’ fees and expenses approved by the Court. It is anticipated that the amount paid to each valid claimant from the Cash Settlement Fund will be based on the claimant’s actual or estimated interchange fees attributable to the claimant’s Visa and MasterCard transactions from January 1, 2004 through November 28, 2012.

    The second fund is an Interchange Settlement Fund which could total up to $1.2 billion. The amount of money each eligible claimant will receive from the Interchange Fund depends on the money available to pay all claims, the total dollar value of all valid claims filed, the cost of class administration and notice, and attorneys’ fees and expenses approved by the Court. Each claimant’s payment will be paid in proportion to all claimants’ payments. For a merchant that submits a valid claim, the amount paid from the Interchange Fund will be based on one-tenth of 1% of the merchant’s Visa and MasterCard credit card transaction volume during the eight-month period from July 29, 2013 through March 29, 2014.

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  2. How much money will I get?

    It cannot be known at this time the payment amount that valid claimants could receive. Now that the Court has approved the settlement and a Plan of Allocation, a Claim Form and related claim process will be proposed to the Court. It is anticipated that the amount paid from the Cash Settlement Fund will be based on your actual or estimated interchange fees attributable to Visa and MasterCard transactions from January 1, 2004 through November 28, 2012. The amount paid from the Interchange Fund will be based on one-tenth of 1% of your Visa and MasterCard credit card transaction volume during an eight-month period from July 29, 2013 through March 29, 2014.

    Details about how all claims are calculated are included in the Settlement Plan of Administration and Distribution and in Additional Information Concerning the Plan of Administration and Distribution.

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  3. What do the members of the Rule Changes Settlement Class get?

    On January 27, 2013, as a result of this lawsuit, Visa and MasterCard made changes to their rules and practices. These changes benefit the Rule Changes Settlement Class.

    These changes deal with the ability of merchants to surcharge and to provide discounts at the point of sale, allow merchants to form buying groups, allow merchants to accept Visa or MasterCard at fewer than all of the merchant’s trade names or banners if the merchant operates multiple businesses under different trade names or banners, and ensure that the $10 minimum purchase rule will not change even if the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act end. A detailed description of the rule changes is in the Class Settlement Agreement, paragraphs 40–65.

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  4. How do I tell the Court if I don't like the settlement?

    The period for objecting to the settlement has ended. Class Members were required to submit objections by May 28, 2013. The Court considered Class Members’ objections in the Memorandum and Order approving the settlement.

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How to File a Claim Form

  1. How do I file a claim?

    Claim Forms are not currently available. The Court is expected to approve a Claim Form and determine when the Claim Form needs to be sent to Class Members. Claim Forms will then be mailed to known Class Members and posted on this website.

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  2. How can I be sure I will receive a Claim Form?

    If you received a Notice in the mail, you will receive a Claim Form once Claim Forms become available. Claim Forms can be requested from the Class Administrator after Claim Forms are approved and become available.

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  3. Who decides the value of my claim?

    The Class Administrator has obtained data from the Defendants that will be used to calculate the value of each Class Member’s claim. For the Cash Settlement Fund, the Class Administrator has obtained data from Visa, MasterCard, certain bank defendants, and other entities which it expects will permit it to estimate the total value of interchange fees attributable to each Authorized Cash Claimant on its Visa and MasterCard transactions during the period from January 1, 2004 to November 28, 2012 with no netting or reductions based on rebates, market support, or promotional payments, or otherwise.

    This data will be used, to the extent possible, to estimate the interchange fees attributable to each Class Member. Where the necessary data is not available or the information obtained by the Class Administrator is disputed, Class Members will be required to submit information to support their claims.

    For the Interchange Fund, the Class Administrator will calculate the value of claims to the Interchange Fund as a percentage of sales volume on Visa- and MasterCard-branded credit card transactions during the eight month period from July 29, 2013 through March 29, 2014. To the extent that available data explicitly specify a particular claimant’s sales volume, this data will be utilized. If data is not available, claimants will be asked to submit payment card transaction volume.

    Payments will not be issued to valid claimants until all appeals have been resolved and the settlement has become final. It is not known how long that will take. Please be patient.

    More details about how claims are calculated can be found in the Settlement Plan of Administration and Distribution and Additional Information Concerning the Plan of Administration and Distribution.

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  4. If I excluded myself from the Cash Settlement Class, can I get anything from this settlement?

    If you excluded yourself from the Cash Settlement Class, you cannot get money from this settlement. You should not file a Claim Form asking for payment.

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  5. Do I need to use a third-party claim filing service?

    Specialized companies often called third-party claim filing services may offer to fill out and file your claim in return for a percentage of the value of your claim. If you received an unsolicited email, phone call, or other communication regarding this settlement, other than the Court-approved notice, it was likely from a third-party claim filing service.

    You are not required to use a third-party claim filing service to collect a settlement payment. Before you sign a contract with one of these companies, you should examine the claim-filing process outlined on the settlement website and decide whether it is worth the cost. Because a Claim Form is not yet available, you may want to wait to decide whether to hire a company to submit your claim.

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  6. What was Preregistration?

    Preregistration is now closed.

    Preregistration was an optional process and does not affect a class member's rights under the settlement. Even if you completed the preregistration process, you must still submit a Claim Form to be eligible to receive a settlement payment.

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  7. Why did the Preregistration portal close? Will I be able to preregister later?

    Because this settlement is currently on appeal, the decision was made to suspend preregistration activities. The Preregistration Portal is now closed. Please check this website often for the latest information regarding the settlement.

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  8. May I have access to my Preregistration information?

    Users of the Preregistration portal may not access or alter their accounts while the Preregistration Portal is closed. Users were encouraged to keep records of the information submitted.

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  9. Though the Preregistration portal is closed, can third-party filing services still register on behalf of their clients?

    No. While the settlement is on appeal, the Class Administrator will no longer be accepting documentation or requests from third-party filing services related to their representation of class members. Third-party filing services are encouraged to retain necessary documentation for use after all appeals are resolved. After all appeals are resolved, third-party filers will be given the opportunity to register their clients with the Claims Administrator.

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The Lawyers Representing You

  1. Who are the lawyers that represent the Classes?

    The Court has appointed the lawyers listed below to represent you. These lawyers are called Class Counsel. Many other lawyers have also worked with Class Counsel to represent you in this case. Because you are a Class Member, you do not have to pay any of these lawyers. They will be paid from the settlement funds.

    K. Craig Wildfang
    Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.
    2800 LaSalle Plaza
    800 LaSalle Avenue
    Minneapolis, MN 55402

    H. Laddie Montague, Jr.
    Berger & Montague, P.C.
    1622 Locust Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19103

    Bonny E. Sweeney
    Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP
    655 West Broadway, Suite 1900
    San Diego, CA 92101

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  2. How much will the lawyers and Class Plaintiffs be paid?

    On January 14, 2014, the Court awarded the lawyers for the Class Members (called Class Counsel) reasonable and appropriate attorneys' fees in the amount of $544,800,000 to compensate all of the lawyers and their law firms that have worked on the class case. The Court's award is currently on appeal, and Class Counsel will not be awarded attorneys' fees until appeals have been resolved.

    The Court also awarded Class Counsel reimbursement of their expenses (not including the administrative costs of settlement or notice) of approximately $27 million.

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Getting More Information

  1. How can I change my address?

    To change your address, please submit a change of address request in writing. Please include all the following information:

    • The mail ID on the Notice you received in the mail (if available) (this will be a 13-digit number next to the barcode, starting with 4719)
    • The EIN of your business
    • The incorrect address
    • The correct address
    • Your name
    • Your position with the company; and
    • Your signature

    Send your change of address request to: Payment Card Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 2350, Portland, OR 97208-2350.

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  2. How do I get more information?

    There are several ways to get more information about the settlement.

    The following information is available on the Documents page:

    For all other inquiries:

    Call the toll-free number: 1-800-625-6440

    Write to:
    Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement
    PO Box 2530
    Portland OR 97208-2530

    Email: info@PaymentCardSettlement.com.

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  3. What is the full text of the Releases for the Cash Settlement Class?

    31. The “Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Releasing Parties” are the Class Plaintiffs, each and every member of the Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class that does not become an Opt Out, and any of their respective past, present, or future: officers and directors; stockholders, agents, employees, legal representatives, partners, and associates (in their capacities as stockholders, agents, employees, legal representatives, partners, and associates of a member of the Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class only); and trustees, parents, subsidiaries, divisions, affiliates, heirs, executors, administrators, purchasers, predecessors, successors, and assigns — whether or not they object to this Class Settlement Agreement, and whether or not they make a claim for payment from the Class Settlement Cash Escrow Account(s) or the Class Settlement Interchange Escrow Account(s), whether directly, representatively, derivatively, or in any other capacity.

    32. The “Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Released Parties” are all of the following:

    1. Visa U.S.A. Inc., Visa International Service Association, Visa Inc., Visa Asia Pacific Region, Visa Canada Association, Visa Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa Region, Visa Europe, Visa Europe Limited, Visa Latin America & Caribbean Region, and any other entity that now authorizes or licenses, or in the past has authorized or licensed, a financial institution to issue any Visa-Branded Cards or to acquire any Visa-Branded Card transactions.
    2. MasterCard International Incorporated, MasterCard Incorporated, and any other entity that now authorizes or licenses, or in the past has authorized or licensed, a financial institution to issue any MasterCard-Branded Cards or to acquire any MasterCard-Branded Card transactions.
    3. Bank of America, N.A.; BA Merchant Services LLC (formerly known as National Processing, Inc.); Bank of America Corporation; MBNA America Bank, N.A., and FIA Card Services, N.A.
    4. Barclays Bank plc; Barclays Bank Delaware; and Barclays Financial Corp.
    5. Capital One Bank (USA), N.A.; Capital One F.S.B.; and Capital One Financial Corporation.
    6. Chase Bank USA, N.A.; Chase Manhattan Bank USA, N.A.; Chase Paymentech Solutions, LLC; JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.; JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Bank One Corporation; and Bank One Delaware, N.A.
    7. Citibank (South Dakota), N.A.; Citibank N.A.; Citigroup Inc.; and Citicorp.
    8. Fifth Third Bancorp.
    9. First National Bank of Omaha.
    10. HSBC Finance Corporation; HSBC Bank USA, N.A.; HSBC North America Holdings Inc.; HSBC Holdings plc; and HSBC Bank plc.
    11. National City Corporation and National City Bank of Kentucky.
    12. SunTrust Banks, Inc. and SunTrust Bank.
    13. Texas Independent Bancshares, Inc.
    14. Wachovia Bank, N.A. and Wachovia Corporation.
    15. Washington Mutual, Inc.; Washington Mutual Bank; Providian National Bank (also known as Washington Mutual Card Services, Inc.); and Providian Financial Corporation.
    16. Wells Fargo & Company and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
    17. Each and every entity or person alleged to be a co-conspirator of any Defendant in any of the Operative Class Complaints or any of the Class Actions.
    18. Each of the past, present, or future member or customer financial institutions of Visa U.S.A. Inc., Visa International Service Association, Visa Inc., Visa Europe, Visa Europe Limited, MasterCard International Incorporated, or MasterCard Incorporated.
    19. For each of the entities or persons in Paragraphs 32(a)-(r) above, each of their respective past, present, and future, direct and indirect, parents (including holding companies), subsidiaries, affiliates, and associates (all as defined in SEC Rule 12b-2 promulgated pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934), or any other entity in which more than 50% of the equity interests are held.
    20. For each of the entities or persons in Paragraphs 32(a)-(s) above, each of their respective past, present, and future predecessors, successors, purchasers, and assigns (including acquirers of all or substantially all of the assets, stock, or other ownership interests of any of the Defendants to the extent a successor’s, purchaser’s, or acquirer’s liability is based on the Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Released Parties as defined in Paragraphs 32(a)-(s) above).
    21. For each of the entities or persons in Paragraphs 32(a)-(s) above, each of their respective past, present, and future principals, trustees, partners, officers, directors, employees, agents, attorneys, legal or other representatives, trustees, heirs, executors, administrators, shareholders, advisors, predecessors, successors, purchasers, and assigns (including acquirers of all or substantially all of the assets, stock, or other ownership interests of each of the foregoing entities to the extent a successor’s, purchaser’s, or acquirer’s liability is based on the Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Released Parties as defined in Paragraphs 32(a)-(t) above.

    33. This release applies solely to the Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Releasing Parties. In addition to the effect of the Class Settlement Order and Final Judgment entered in accordance with this Class Settlement Agreement, including but not limited to any res judicata effect, the Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Releasing Parties hereby expressly and irrevocably waive, and fully, finally, and forever settle, discharge, and release the Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Released Parties from any and all manner of claims, demands, actions, suits, and causes of action, whether individual, class, representative, parens patriae, or otherwise in nature, for damages, interest, costs, expenses, attorneys’ fees, fines, civil or other penalties, or other payment of money, or for injunctive, declaratory, or other equitable relief, whenever incurred, whether directly, indirectly, derivatively, or otherwise, regardless of when such claims accrue, whether known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, in law or in equity that any Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Releasing Party ever had, now has, or hereafter can, shall, or may in the future have, arising out of or relating in any way to any conduct, acts, transactions, events, occurrences, statements, omissions, or failures to act of any Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Released Party that are alleged or which could have been alleged from the beginning of time until the date of the Court’s entry of the Class Settlement Preliminary Approval Order in any of the Operative Class Complaints or Class Action complaints, or in any amendments to the Operative Class Complaints or Class Action complaints, including but not limited to any claims based on or relating to:

    1. any interchange rules, interchange fees, or interchange rates, or any other Rule of any Visa Defendant or MasterCard Defendant, or any agreement involving any Visa Defendant or any MasterCard Defendant and any other Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Released Party, and/or any merchant arising out of or relating to interchange rules, interchange fees, or interchange rates, card issuance, or card acceptance with respect to any Visa-Branded Card transactions in the United States or any MasterCard- Branded Card transactions in the United States;
    2. any Merchant Fee of any Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Released Party relating to any Visa-Branded Card transactions in the United States or any MasterCard-Branded Card transactions in the United States;
    3. any actual or alleged “no surcharge” rules, “honor all cards” rules, “no minimum purchase” rules, “no discounting” rules, “non-discrimination” rules, “anti-steering” rules, Rules that limit merchants in favoring or steering customers to use certain payment systems, “all outlets” rules, “no bypass” rules, or “no multi-issuer” rules, or any other actual or alleged Rule of any Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Released Party relating to any Visa-Branded Cards or any MasterCard-Branded Cards, or a merchant’s point of sale practices relating to any Visa-Branded Cards or any MasterCard-Branded Cards;
    4. any actual or alleged agreement (i) between or among any Visa Defendant and any MasterCard Defendant, (ii) between or among any Visa Defendant or MasterCard Defendant and any other Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Released Party or Parties, or (iii) between or among any Visa Defendant, MasterCard Defendant, or any other Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Released Party or Parties relating to conduct or Rules of any Visa Defendant or any MasterCard Defendant;
    5. any reorganization, restructuring, initial or other public offering, or other corporate structuring of any Visa Defendant or MasterCard Defendant;
    6. any service of an employee or agent of any Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Released Party on any board or committee of any Visa Defendant or MasterCard Defendant;
    7. the future effect in the United States of the continued imposition of or adherence to any Rule of any Visa Defendant or MasterCard Defendant in effect in the United States as of the date of the Court’s entry of the Class Settlement Preliminary Approval Order, any Rule modified or to be modified pursuant to this Class Settlement Agreement, or any Rule that is substantially similar to any Rule in effect in the United States as of the date of the Court’s entry of the Class Settlement Preliminary Approval Order or any Rule modified or to be modified pursuant to this Class Settlement Agreement;
    8. the future effect in the United States of any conduct of any Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Released Party substantially similar to the conduct of any Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Released Party related to or arising out of interchange rules, interchange fees, or interchange rates, any Rule of any Visa Defendant or MasterCard Defendant modified or to be modified pursuant to this Class Settlement Agreement, any other Rule of any Visa Defendant or any MasterCard Defendant in effect as of the date of the Court’s entry of the Class Settlement Preliminary Approval Order, or any Rule substantially similar to any of the foregoing Rules;
    9. any conduct of this Action, including without limitation any settlement discussions relating to this Action, the negotiation of and agreement to this Class Settlement Agreement by the Defendants or any member or customer financial institution of the Visa Defendants or the MasterCard Defendants, or any terms or effect of this Class Settlement Agreement (other than claims to enforce this Class Settlement Agreement), including any changes in the Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Released Parties’ Rules as a result of this Class Settlement Agreement;

      and it is expressly agreed, for purposes of clarity, without expanding or limiting the foregoing, that any claims based on or relating to (a)-(i) above are claims that were or could have been alleged in this Action.

    34. Each Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Releasing Party further expressly and irrevocably waives, and fully, finally, and forever settles and releases, any and all defenses, rights, and benefits that the Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Releasing Party may have or that may be derived from the provisions of applicable law which, absent such waiver, may limit the extent or effect of the release contained in the preceding Paragraphs 31-33. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, each Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Releasing Party expressly and irrevocably waives and releases any and all defenses, rights, and benefits that the Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Releasing Party might otherwise have in relation to the release by virtue of the provisions of California Civil Code Section 1542 or similar laws of any other state or jurisdiction. SECTION 1542 PROVIDES: “CERTAIN CLAIMS NOT AFFECTED BY GENERAL RELEASE. A GENERAL RELEASE DOES NOT EXTEND TO CLAIMS WHICH THE CREDITOR DOES NOT KNOW OR SUSPECT TO EXIST IN HIS OR HER FAVOR AT THE TIME OF EXECUTING THE RELEASE, WHICH IF KNOWN BY HIM OR HER MUST HAVE MATERIALLY AFFECTED HIS OR HER SETTLEMENT WITH THE DEBTOR.” In addition, although each Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Releasing Party may hereafter discover facts other than, different from, or in addition to those that it or he or she knows or believes to be true with respect to any claims released in the preceding Paragraphs 31-33, each Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Releasing Party hereby expressly waives, and fully, finally, and forever settles, discharges, and releases, any known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, contingent or non-contingent claims within the scope of the preceding Paragraphs 31-33, whether or not concealed or hidden, and without regard to the subsequent discovery or existence of such other, different, or additional facts. Class Plaintiffs acknowledge, and the members of the Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class shall be deemed by operation of the Class Settlement Order and Final Judgment to have acknowledged, that the foregoing waiver was separately bargained for and is a key element of this Class Settlement Agreement.

    35. Each Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Releasing Party covenants and agrees that it shall not, hereafter, seek to establish, or permit another to act for it in a representative capacity to seek to establish, liability against any of the Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Released Parties based, in whole or in part, upon any conduct covered by any of the claims released in Paragraphs 31-34 above.

    36. For avoidance of doubt, no other provision of this Class Settlement Agreement releases any claim of a Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Releasing Party that is based on:

    1. breach of this Class Settlement Agreement;
    2. standard commercial disputes arising in the ordinary course of business under contracts or commercial relations regarding loans, lines of credit, or other related banking or credit relations, individual chargeback disputes, products liability, breach of warranty, misappropriation of cardholder data or invasion of privacy, compliance with technical specifications for a merchant’s acceptance of Credit Cards or Debit Cards, and any other dispute arising out of a breach of any contract between any of the Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Releasing Parties and any of the Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Released Parties; provided, however, that Paragraphs 31-35 above and not this Paragraph shall control in the event that any such claim challenges the legality of interchange rules, interchange rates, or interchange fees, or any other Rule fee, charge, or other conduct covered by any of the claims released in Paragraphs 31-35 above; or
    3. the claims alleged in the currently operative complaints against the current defendants in (i) NACS, et al. v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, No. 11-CV-02075-RJL (D.D.C.), and (ii) In re ATM Fee Antitrust Litigation, No. 04-CV-02676-CRB (N.D. Cal) (including claims that have been asserted to have been alleged in the Second Amended and Third Amended Complaints against Bank of America, N.A.).

    37. Each Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Releasing Party further releases each of the Visa Defendants, MasterCard Defendants, and Bank Defendants and their counsel and experts in this Action from any claims relating to the defense of this Action, including the negotiation and terms of this Class Settlement Agreement, except for any claims relating to enforcement of this Class Settlement Agreement. Each Visa Defendant, MasterCard Defendant, and Bank Defendant releases the Class Plaintiffs, the other plaintiffs in the Class Actions, Class Counsel, Class Plaintiffs’ other counsel who have participated in any settlement conferences before the Court for a Class Plaintiff that executes this Class Settlement Agreement, and their respective experts in the Class Actions, from any claims relating to their institution or prosecution of the Class Actions, including the negotiation and terms of this Class Settlement Agreement, except for any claims relating to enforcement of this Class Settlement Agreement.

    38. In the event that this Class Settlement Agreement is terminated pursuant to Paragraphs 96-98 in the notice, or any condition for the Settlement Final Approval Date is not satisfied, the release and covenant not to sue provisions of Paragraphs 31-37 above shall be null and void and unenforceable.

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  4. What is the full text of the Release for the Rule Changes Settlement Class?

    66. The “Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Releasing Parties” are the Class Plaintiffs, each and every member of the Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class, and any of their respective past, present, or future: officers and directors; stockholders, agents, employees, legal representatives, partners, and associates (in their capacities as stockholders, agents, employees, legal representatives, partners, and associates of a member of the Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class only); and trustees, parents, subsidiaries, divisions, affiliates, heirs, executors, administrators, purchasers, predecessors, successors, and assigns — whether or not they object to this Class Settlement Agreement, and whether or not they exercise any benefit provided under the Class Settlement Agreement, whether directly, representatively, derivatively, or in any other capacity.

    67. The “Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Released Parties” are all of the following:

    1. Visa U.S.A. Inc., Visa International Service Association, Visa Inc., Visa Asia Pacific Region, Visa Canada Association, Visa Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa Region, Visa Europe, Visa Europe Limited, Visa Latin America & Caribbean Region, and any other entity that now authorizes or licenses, or in the past has authorized or licensed, a financial institution to issue any Visa-Branded Cards or to acquire any Visa-Branded Card transactions.
    2. MasterCard International Incorporated, MasterCard Incorporated, and any other entity that now authorizes or licenses, or in the past has authorized or licensed, a financial institution to issue any MasterCard-Branded Cards or to acquire any MasterCard-Branded Card transactions.
    3. Bank of America, N.A.; BA Merchant Services LLC (formerly known as National Processing, Inc.); Bank of America Corporation; MBNA America Bank, N.A., and FIA Card Services, N.A.
    4. Barclays Bank plc; Barclays Bank Delaware; and Barclays Financial Corp.
    5. Capital One Bank (USA), N.A.; Capital One F.S.B.; and Capital One Financial Corporation.
    6. Chase Bank USA, N.A.; Chase Manhattan Bank USA, N.A.; Chase Paymentech Solutions, LLC; JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.; JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Bank One Corporation; and Bank One Delaware, N.A.
    7. Citibank (South Dakota), N.A.; Citibank N.A.; Citigroup Inc.; and Citicorp.
    8. Fifth Third Bancorp.
    9. First National Bank of Omaha.
    10. HSBC Finance Corporation; HSBC Bank USA, N.A.; HSBC North America Holdings Inc.; HSBC Holdings plc; and HSBC Bank plc.
    11. National City Corporation and National City Bank of Kentucky.
    12. SunTrust Banks, Inc. and SunTrust Bank.
    13. Texas Independent Bancshares, Inc.
    14. Wachovia Bank, N.A. and Wachovia Corporation.
    15. Washington Mutual, Inc.; Washington Mutual Bank; Providian National Bank (also known as Washington Mutual Card Services, Inc.); and Providian Financial Corporation.
    16. Wells Fargo & Company and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
    17. Each and every entity or person alleged to be a co-conspirator of any Defendant in any of the Operative Class Complaints or any of the Class Actions.
    18. Each of the past, present, or future member or customer financial institutions of Visa U.S.A. Inc., Visa International Service Association, Visa Inc., Visa Europe, Visa Europe Limited, MasterCard International Incorporated, or MasterCard Incorporated.
    19. For each of the entities or persons in Paragraphs 67(a)-(r) above, each of their respective past, present, and future, direct and indirect, parents (including holding companies), subsidiaries, affiliates, and associates (all as defined in SEC Rule 12b-2 promulgated pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934), or any other entity in which more than 50% of the equity interests are held.
    20. For each of the entities or persons in Paragraphs 67(a)-(s) above, each of their respective past, present, and future predecessors, successors, purchasers, and assigns (including acquirers of all or substantially all of the assets, stock, or other ownership interests of any of the Defendants to the extent a successor’s, purchaser’s, or acquirer’s liability is based on the Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Released Parties as defined in Paragraphs 67(a)-(s) above).
    21. For each of the entities or persons in Paragraphs 67(a)-(t) above, each of their respective past, present, and future principals, trustees, partners, officers, directors, employees, agents, attorneys, legal or other representatives, trustees, heirs, executors, administrators, shareholders, advisors, predecessors, successors, purchasers, and assigns (including acquirers of all or substantially all of the assets, stock, or other ownership interests of each of the foregoing entities to the extent a successor’s, purchaser’s, or acquirer’s liability is based on the Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Released Parties as defined in Paragraphs 67(a)-(t) above).

    68. This release applies solely to the Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Releasing Parties. In addition to the effect of the Class Settlement Order and Final Judgment entered in accordance with this Class Settlement Agreement, including but not limited to any res judicata effect, the Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Releasing Parties hereby expressly and irrevocably waive, and fully, finally, and forever settle, discharge, and release the Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Released Parties from any and all manner of claims, demands, actions, suits, and causes of action, whether individual, class, representative, parens patriae, or otherwise in nature, for any form of declaratory, injunctive, or equitable relief, or any damages or other monetary relief relating to the period after the date of the Court’s entry of the Class Settlement Preliminary Approval Order, regardless of when such claims accrue, whether known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, in law or in equity that any Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Releasing Party now has, or hereafter can, shall, or may in the future have, arising out of or relating in any way to any conduct, acts, transactions, events, occurrences, statements, omissions, or failures to act of any Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Released Party that are alleged or which could have been alleged from the beginning of time until the date of the Court’s entry of the Class Settlement Preliminary Approval Order in any of the Operative Class Complaints or Class Action complaints, or in any amendments to the Operative Class Complaints or Class Action complaints, including but not limited to any claims based on or relating to:

    1. any interchange rules, interchange fees, or interchange rates, or any other Rule of any Visa Defendant or MasterCard Defendant, or any agreement involving any Visa Defendant or any MasterCard Defendant and any other Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Released Party, and/or any merchant arising out of or relating to interchange rules, interchange fees, or interchange rates, card issuance, or card acceptance with respect to any Visa-Branded Card transactions in the United States or any MasterCard-Branded Card transactions in the United States;
    2. any Merchant Fee of any Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Released Party relating to any Visa-Branded Card transactions in the United States or any MasterCard-Branded Card transactions in the United States;
    3. any actual or alleged “no surcharge” rules, “honor all cards” rules, “no minimum purchase” rules, “no discounting” rules, “non-discrimination” rules, “anti-steering” rules, Rules that limit merchants in favoring or steering customers to use certain payment systems, “all outlets” rules, “no bypass” rules, or “no multi-issuer” rules, or any other actual or alleged Rule of any Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Released Party relating to any Visa-Branded Cards or any MasterCard-Branded Cards, or a merchant’s point of sale practices relating to any Visa-Branded Cards or any MasterCard-Branded Cards;
    4. any actual or alleged agreement (i) between or among any Visa Defendant and any MasterCard Defendant, (ii) between or among any Visa Defendant or MasterCard Defendant and any other Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Released Party or Parties, or (iii) between or among any Visa Defendant, MasterCard Defendant, or any other Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Released Party or Parties relating to conduct or Rules of any Visa Defendant or any MasterCard Defendant;
    5. any reorganization, restructuring, initial or other public offering, or other corporate structuring of any Visa Defendant or MasterCard Defendant;
    6. any service of an employee or agent of any Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Released Party on any board or committee of any Visa Defendant or MasterCard Defendant;
    7. the future effect in the United States of the continued imposition of or adherence to any Rule of any Visa Defendant or MasterCard Defendant in effect in the United States as of the date of the Court’s entry of the Class Settlement Preliminary Approval Order, any Rule modified or to be modified pursuant to this Class Settlement Agreement, or any Rule that is substantially similar to any Rule in effect in the United States as of the date of the Court’s entry of the Class Settlement Preliminary Approval Order or any Rule modified or to be modified pursuant to this Class Settlement Agreement;
    8. the future effect in the United States of any conduct of any Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Released Party substantially similar to the conduct of any Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Released Party related to or arising out of interchange rules, interchange fees, or interchange rates, any Rule of any Visa Defendant or MasterCard Defendant modified or to be modified pursuant to this Class Settlement Agreement, any other Rule of any Visa Defendant or any MasterCard Defendant in effect as of the date of the Court’s entry of the Class Settlement Preliminary Approval Order, or any Rule substantially similar to any of the foregoing Rules;
    9. any conduct of this Action, including without limitation any settlement discussions relating to this Action, the negotiation of and agreement to this Class Settlement Agreement by the Defendants or any member or customer financial institution of the Visa Defendants or the MasterCard Defendants, or any terms or effect of this Class Settlement Agreement (other than claims to enforce this Class Settlement Agreement), including any changes in the Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Released Parties’ Rules as a result of this Class Settlement Agreement;

      and it is expressly agreed, for purposes of clarity, without expanding or limiting the foregoing, that any claims based on or relating to (a)-(i) above are claims that were or could have been alleged in this Action.

      Provided, however, that any Opt Out that is also a member of the Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class shall not be deemed to have released any claims for damages based on any Rules or other conduct, acts, transactions, events, occurrences, statements, omissions, or failures to act of any Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Class Released Party prior to the date of the Court’s entry of the Class Settlement Preliminary Approval Order.

    69. Each Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Releasing Party further expressly and irrevocably waives, and fully, finally, and forever settles and releases, any and all defenses, rights, and benefits that the Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Releasing Party may have or that may be derived from the provisions of applicable law which, absent such waiver, may limit the extent or effect of the release contained in the preceding Paragraphs 66-68. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, each Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Releasing Party expressly and irrevocably waives and releases any and all defenses, rights, and benefits that the Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Releasing Party might otherwise have in relation to the release by virtue of the provisions of California Civil Code Section 1542 or similar laws of any other state or jurisdiction. SECTION 1542 PROVIDES: “CERTAIN CLAIMS NOT AFFECTED BY GENERAL RELEASE. A GENERAL RELEASE DOES NOT EXTEND TO CLAIMS WHICH THE CREDITOR DOES NOT KNOW OR SUSPECT TO EXIST IN HIS OR HER FAVOR AT THE TIME OF EXECUTING THE RELEASE, WHICH IF KNOWN BY HIM OR HER MUST HAVE MATERIALLY AFFECTED HIS OR HER SETTLEMENT WITH THE DEBTOR.” In addition, although each Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Releasing Party may hereafter discover facts other than, different from, or in addition to those that it or he or she knows or believes to be true with respect to any claims released in the preceding Paragraphs 66-68, each Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Releasing Party hereby expressly waives, and fully, finally, and forever settles, discharges, and releases, any known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, contingent or non-contingent claims within the scope of the preceding Paragraphs 66-68, whether or not concealed or hidden, and without regard to the subsequent discovery or existence of such other, different, or additional facts. Class Plaintiffs acknowledge, and the members of the Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class shall be deemed by operation of the Class Settlement Order and Final Judgment to have acknowledged, that the foregoing waiver was separately bargained for and is a key element of this Class Settlement Agreement.

    70. Each Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Releasing Party covenants and agrees that it shall not, hereafter, seek to establish, or permit another to act for it in a representative capacity to seek to establish, liability against any of the Rule 3(b)(2) Settlement Class Released Parties based, in whole or in part, upon any conduct covered by any of the claims released in Paragraphs 66-69 above.

    71. For purposes of clarity, it is specifically intended for the release and covenant not to sue provisions of Paragraphs 66-70 above to preclude all members of the Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class from seeking or obtaining any form of declaratory, injunctive, or equitable relief, or damages or other monetary relief relating to the period after the date of the Court’s entry of the Class Settlement Preliminary Approval Order with respect to any Rule of any Visa Defendant or any MasterCard Defendant, and the compliance by any Bank Defendant with any such Rule, as it is alleged to exist, now exists, may be modified in the manner provided in Paragraphs 40-45 and 53-57 in the notice, or may in the future exist in the same or substantially similar form thereto.

    72. For avoidance of doubt, no other provision of this Class Settlement Agreement releases any claim of a Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Releasing Party that is based on:

    1. breach of this Class Settlement Agreement;
    2. standard commercial disputes arising in the ordinary course of business under contracts or commercial relations regarding loans, lines of credit, or other related banking or credit relations, individual chargeback disputes, products liability, breach of warranty, misappropriation of cardholder data or invasion of privacy, compliance with technical specifications for a merchant’s acceptance of Credit Cards or Debit Cards, and any other dispute arising out of a breach of any contract between any of the Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Releasing Parties and any of the Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Released Parties; provided, however, that Paragraphs 66-71 above and not this Paragraph shall control in the event that any such claim challenges the legality of interchange rules, interchange rates, or interchange fees, or any other Rule, fee, charge, or other conduct covered by any of the claims released in Paragraphs 66-71 above;
    3. the claims alleged in the currently operative complaints against the current defendants in (i) NACS, et al. v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, No. 11-CV-02075-RJL (D.D.C.), and (ii) In re ATM Fee Antitrust Litigation, No. 04-CV-02676-CRB (N.D. Cal) (including claims that have been asserted to have been alleged in the Second Amended or Third Amended Complaints against Bank of America, N.A.); or
    4. a claim seeking only injunctive relief against only the Visa Defendants regarding the legality of Visa’s Fixed Acquirer Network Fee.

    73. Each Rule 23(b)(2) Settlement Class Releasing Party further releases each of the Visa Defendants, MasterCard Defendants, and Bank Defendants and their counsel and experts in this Action from any claims relating to the defense of this Action, including the negotiation and terms of this Class Settlement Agreement, except for any claims relating to enforcement of this Class Settlement Agreement. Each Visa Defendant, MasterCard Defendant, and Bank Defendant releases the Class Plaintiffs, other plaintiffs in the Class Actions, Class Counsel, Class Plaintiffs’ other counsel who have participated in any settlement conferences before the Court for a Class Plaintiff that executes this Class Settlement Agreement, and their respective experts in the Class Actions, from any claims relating to their institution or prosecution of the Class Actions, including the negotiation and terms of this Class Settlement Agreement, except for any claims relating to enforcement of this Class Settlement Agreement.

    74. In the event that this Class Settlement Agreement is terminated pursuant to Paragraphs 96-98 in the notice, or any condition for the Settlement Final Approval Date is not satisfied, the release and covenant not to sue provisions of Paragraphs 66-73 above shall be null and void and unenforceable.

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