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Congress is trying to raise your debit card fees

Some lawmakers are supporting a bill that that could raise restaurants’ debit-card fees.

We’re fighting back.

The National Restaurant Association blasted a letter to Congress today, asking the House Financial Services Committee to vote against a bill that would raise the “swipe fees” restaurants and other merchants pay when guests pay by debit card.

The committee could vote on the bill this week.

  • The threat: The 2,000-plus page Financial CHOICE Act, by Committee Chair Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), which includes a provision that would hike debit card swipe fees for restaurants and other businesses.
  • What the Financial CHOICE Act would do: The bill would repeal the reforms we fought hard for Congress to pass six years ago. Among other changes, the 2010 reforms – known as the “Durbin Amendment” – require debit swipe fees to be set at a level that’s “reasonable and proportional” to the actual cost of processing a debit transaction, not the percentages card companies want to charge.
  • Why we oppose it: The Durbin Amendment has helped reduce debit swipe fees for many restaurants to nearly half of what they were before 2010. If those in Congress pushing for repeal are successful, debit card swipe fees would revert back to an average of 44 cents or more per transaction. That would will drive up operational and consumer costs, which is just plain bad for business.

The National Restaurant Association is extremely disappointed that the Financial CHOICE Act, including a provision to repeal debit swipe fee reform, has passed the House Financial Services Committee,” said Laura Chadwick, director of commerce and entrepreneurship for the National Restaurant Association. “We are categorically opposed to the repeal of these critical reforms that have brought a degree of competition, transparency and fairness to debit swipe fee costs where there was absolutely none previously. We fought vigorously with our members to achieve debit swipe fee reform for years, and we will continue to fight against any further movement of this bill so long as a repeal provision is included. We urge Members of Congress to stand with small business, not big banks.

Tell Congress to oppose any effort to increase debit-card fees for restaurants.
This link will identify your congressional representative by zip code, and generate a response via email, twitter, or Facebook

Author: MRA
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