Urge Congress to Oppose Delay in Swipe Fee Implementation (H.R. 1081/ S. 575)
On March 15, members of Congress in both chambers introduced legislation to delay implementation of a law passed last year to limit the ability of big banks to dictate prices on debit card swipe fees franchise business owners must pay. It is important to reach out to your Representative and Senators now and urge them to not co-sponsor and to oppose H.R. 1081, the Consumers Payment System Protection Act, and S. 575, the Debit Interchange Fee Study Act of 2011.
Derailing swipe fee reform would kill more than 95,000 new jobs and take more than $10 billion per year out of consumers' pocket. Big credit card companies have created a price-fixing regime that benefits the largest banks, including “too big to fail” institutions that have received hundreds of billions of dollars in federal bailout money, at the expense of franchised small businesses and consumers. The card companies and big banks have not and will not negotiate with businesses over swipe fees. As a result, these fees:
• Have tripled over the last 10 years;
• Largely benefit the 10 biggest banks;
• Are the second highest expense many small merchants face after labor costs; and
• Are rising faster than health care costs.
- My business and my customers are hurt every day by the centralized fixing of prices by Visa and MasterCard. Those two giants set the interchange (swipe) fees that their banks all across the country charge.
- Credit and debit card swipe fees are about $50 billion each year. They are the second highest operating expense for many merchants. And for a large and growing number of merchants these fees are more than their pre-tax profits.
- Thankfully, Congress took a step forward on part of this problem last year. An amendment was included in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act to limit price fixing on debit card swipe fees.
- The Federal Reserve is currently writing the rules on this. I can't tell you strongly enough how important this is to businesses in your district like mine. Please support the Federal Reserve's rulemaking efforts. We need to make sure the Federal Reserve’s rules move forward.
- The current interchange system is uncompetitive, non-transparent and harmful to consumers.
- The nation’s 10 largest banks rake in over half of the $16 billion dollars collected in debit card interchange fee revenue each year.
Contact Your Representative and Senators. Urge your lawmakers to not co-sponsor and to oppose H.R. 1081/ S. 575. Click here to email your Senator and Representative.
For more information, please contact Jay Perron, IFA's Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 662-0797