NACDS supports fair debit and credit card fees

February 22, 2011

" The National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the Food Marketing Institute, and other retail organizations are urging Congress to help reform credit and debit card interchange fees. "

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), and other retail organizations are urging Congress to help reform credit and debit card interchange fees.

At the eighth public hearing on the issue, held on February 17 before the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, retailers urged Congress to support the Federal Reserve’s regulations and make debit card fees fairer.

According to the Merchant Payments Coalition, of which NACDS is a member, the Federal Reserve passed a proposed resolution in December to ensure that debit swipe fees are reasonable and “proportional to the processing costs incurred.” However, the Reserve’s regulations are not expected to go into effect until July, and retailers say they need relief from high debit and credit fees now.

“Last spring, debit card pin fees from Visa and MasterCard went up 35% for our small independent businesses. It cost one retailer $2 million,” said Liz Garner, director of government relations for FMI in Washington, D.C.

“We have watched our cost of accepting debit cards increase year after year, powerless to impact or even predict what these cost increases will be,” the Merchants Payment Coalition wrote to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke in early February.