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Merchant Groups Say Swipe Fee Reform Vital to Main Street

Representatives from grocery and convenience stores, restaurants and other retailers asked Congress to uphold the reforms.
February 10, 2017

​WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than 60 representatives from retailers, grocers, convenience stores and restaurants met with lawmakers this week to discuss the importance of upholding hard-fought debit swipe fee reforms as Congress readies legislation to repeal it.

In 2010, debit swipe fee reforms introduced competition and transparency into a market where previously there was none. Despite a proven record, the House is readying legislation to repeal the Durbin Amendment which threatens to rip away those reforms, raising costs on Main Street and handing over billions to Wall Street and card companies.

Members from NACS, the Food Marketing Institute, Merchant Advisory Group, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation and Retail Industry Leaders Association visited Capitol Hill to tell their story of how pro-competitive debit reforms have positively impacted their businesses and implore Congress to stand with Main Street retailers by opposing any efforts to weaken or repeal the law.

“If debit reform is repealed, the card industry will go back to anti-competitive practices that cost retailers and their customers billions of dollars a year. If that happens, the fees will go nowhere but up and the opportunity for competition will be lost. Retailers are on Capitol Hill to tell lawmakers that debit reform needs to be preserved for the sake of American consumers and our nation's economy,” said Mallory Duncan, National Retail Federation senior vice president and general counsel, in a press release.

Swipe fee reform has been and continues to be one of the most pressing matters for Main Street. Debit swipe fees are merchants' second highest operational cost only to labor. Merchant groups have been working side by side on creating a competitive marketplace for many years. Our associations hope that Congress will spend its term taking a closer look into areas of the payments market that need restructuring and leave pro-competitive debit reforms in place.