7-Eleven Franchisees Call on Congress to Protect Debit Swipe Fee Reform | NACS Online – Media – News Archive
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7-Eleven Franchisees Call on Congress to Protect Debit Swipe Fee Reform

Repealing debit swipe fee reform would take franchisees back to a time when big banks could charge sky-high rates on every debit transaction.
May 22, 2017

​RICHMOND, Va. – Ahead of a pending vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the Financial CHOICE Act, Fazle Bhuyian, a 7-Eleven franchisee in Virginia's 8th Congressional District, met with Rep. Don Beyer’s staff to discuss the importance of protecting debit card swipe fee reform for 7-Eleven franchisees, small business owners and consumers.

Most customers at 7-Eleven pay with a debit card. On each transaction, banks charge retailers and ultimately consumers a processing fee. Before reform, the fees franchisees paid to banks for debit card transactions ballooned to one of the franchisee’s highest expenses.

In 2010, Congress passed debit card swipe fee reform through the Durbin Amendment in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. Since reform went into effect, the average swipe fee for a debit card transaction has gone from 43 cents to 22 cents. Putting these savings back into the economy has supported 37,000 jobs and helped 7-Eleven franchisees to keep prices low and hire and retain employees.

But now, some in Congress want to put the largest banks ahead of all small business retailers and repeal swipe fee reform. This would take 7-Eleven franchisees and other small business owners back to a time when the biggest banks could charge as high of a rate as they wished on every debit card transaction.

“Small business owners like me are the backbone of 7-Eleven and our economy—we’re who you see when you walk into our stores and who keep the lights on, often 24-hours a day,” said Bhuyian. “When I visited Congressman Beyer’s office in Washington, I asked him to support our businesses and protect swipe fee reform. Swipe fee reform isn’t just about 7-Eleven franchisees like me but every Virginia small business that hires from within our neighborhoods and supports our communities.”

In Virginia, there are 728 7-Eleven stores. In Rep. Don Beyer’s district, there are 94 stores, which employ approximately 940 employees. On a given day, there are an average of 33,840 transactions. On an annual basis, these stores collectively save approximately $1.3 million dollars with swipe fee reform. 

In 2010, in an organized attempt to pass swipe fee reform, 7-Eleven franchisees gathered more than three million signatures, one of the largest petition drives in history, and met with their members of Congress to tell them how out of control swipe fees hurt their business. Now, they are back to call on Congress and send a clear message ahead of the House vote on CHOICE: protect small business by protecting the Durbin Amendment.

Help Protect Debit Swipe Fee Reform
Using the NACS Grassroots portal, you can send a pre-drafted letter to your representatives asking them to remove the repeal of debit reform out of the Financial CHOICE Act. You can also send a tweet and write on the Facebook page of your representative through the NACS Voter Voice grassroots portal. Social media is a highly effective tool of communicating with lawmakers and their staffs.

We must stop the repeal of debit reform. Lawmakers need to hear how their decisions could negatively impact your business and your customers. Contact your representative today.