Relief for Merchants in Swipe-Fee Reform May Be Delayed for Two Years

The federal government’s swipe fee reform for debit card charges may be tabled for two years if a recently introduced Senate bill passes. This means a potential delay in financial relief for merchants who accept debit cards issued by Visa or MasterCard as a form of payment. The bipartisan Debit Interchange Fee Study Act ( S. 575) wants the U.S. Treasury to conduct a study to determine how debit interchange regulation will affect consumers and small financial institutions. The act calls for two-year delay on implementing swipe-card fee reform, which includes one year to conduct the study.

If it passes, it would delay the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was set to be finalized next month and take effect in July. This amendment would cap the interchange fee that a merchant’s bank pays a customer’s bank when merchants accept debit cards at 12 cents per transaction, Multichannel reports.

Banks and the debit card issuers oppose the bill, which is designed to help merchants. Those opponents say swipe-fee reform say that banks would not get a substantial return on investment by charging just 12 cents per debit card transaction.

The full story presenting both sides of the argument begins HERE.