Small Business Owners to Host Press Conference at U.S. Capitol to Push for Commonsense Swipe Fee Reform

Jun 16, 2010, 12:59pm

On Thursday, June 17, 2010, small business owners from across the country with Reform Swipe Fees NOW! will be in Washington, D.C. to urge Congress to pass commonsense swipe fee reform. The Senate passed an amendment last month offered by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) to rein in excessive debit card fees on a broad, bipartisan basis as part of financial reform. As the differences between the House and Senate version of the financial reform legislation get ironed out in conference committee, small businesses are urging Senators and Congressmen to ensure the Durbin amendment is part of the final bill.

Swipe fees are charged to merchants every time consumers pay for a product or service with a credit or debit card. Rates are set by credit card companies and can be increased at any time. Most recently, Visa increased rates by 30% in April. Swipe fees associated with debit card transactions can be as much as 43 times higher than those associated with paper check transactions – despite the fact that a debit card is essentially just an electronic check. The Durbin amendment addresses this discrepancy and would ensure these fees are “reasonable and proportional” to the cost of processing the transaction. At the same time, the Durbin amendment protects more than 99 percent of credit unions and small banks that make under $10 billion in assets.

“Last year Visa and MasterCard made more off of my store than I did and I never saw them stock a shelf, serve a customer, or clean the floor – how is that fair?” National spokesman for Reform Swipe Fees NOW! and 7-Eleven franchise owner Dennis Lane said. “Small business owners and consumers need some help, so we’re coming to Washington to ask our elected representatives to stand up for us and support the Durbin amendment.”





































Small Business Owners, Reform Swipe Fees NOW coalition to urge Congress to pass swipe fee reform




U.S. Capitol


Senate Square Park


Constitution & Delaware Avenue


Washington, DC




Thursday, June 17, 2010


10:00 a.m. EDT


Additional Background:

Swipe fees average 2% of the total transaction cost that credit card companies and their member banks collect from U.S. retailers, local governments, charities, universities, and more, every time they accept a credit or debit card as a form of payment. The U.S. currently pays higher swipe fees than any other industrialized nation – with rates that have tripled in less than a decade.

Reform Swipe Fees NOW is a project by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). The project unites U.S. business owners, small and large, in a campaign for fair credit card swipe fees.