Retailers Testify as Federal Debate Continues On Credit Card Swipe Fees

The debate about whether or not to cap credit card swipe fees continues in Washington as members of the retail industry push Congress for limitations. They reiterated their position recently at the eighth congressional hearing on the interchange fees. “Swipe fee reform can reduce the hidden fees that inflate prices, and that is a win for consumers,” Doug Kantor, counsel for the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) and the Merchants Payments Coalition, said in a House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit hearing. The hearing was titled “Understanding the Federal Reserve’s Proposed Rule on Interchange Fees: Implications and Consequences of the Durbin Amendment.”

“In fact, consumers are already saving due to the Durbin amendment,” Kantor said. “The provision that allows for cash discounts helped embolden merchants, especially at the gas pump and in restaurants, to offer cash discounts in spite of the aggressive restraints that the card networks had put on them in the past.”

According to an NACS press release, Kantor also took the opportunity to dispute claims by the banking industry that the reform would cause other fees to increase. “Banks looked for years to find excuses for raising checking fees on consumers. Today, it just happens to be the Durbin amendment’s turn to join the hit parade,” he said.

The full story of the ongoing debate from Convenience Store News begin HERE.