Retailers to House Financial Services Committee: Leave Debit

In a letter to leaders of the House Financial Services Committee, more than 100 other businesses, including many member of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) expressed strong opposition to any effort to repeal debit swipe fee reforms.  

Swipe fee reform, also known as the Durbin Amendment, passed the Senate in 2010 with 64 votes and was included in the Dodd Frank Financial Reform Law. The reforms require that the fees banks and card networks charge every time a debit card is swiped are "reasonable and proportionate to the cost of processing the transaction.” Prior to the passage of reforms, card networks utilized their overwhelming market power to raise fees at will. Swipe fees are estimated to cost merchants and consumers $50 billion every year. 

“As cornerstones in the business community, we are staunch supporters of free enterprise, and generally do not support any market intervention unless they are not functioning efficiently. Credit and debit card acceptance is a prime example of a nonfunctioning marketplace,” said the signers of the letter

“Debit card reforms have been a major step in the right direction, and any removal of those reforms would be a monumental step in the wrong direction for U.S. businesses and consumers,” they concluded. 

Two proposals before the committee, the Financial CHOICE Act, introduced by Chairman Jeb Hensarling and H.R. 5465, introduced by Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), would fully repeal the reforms enacted in 2010.   

“Repealing Durbin would once again allow the largest banks and card networks to impose outrageous fees on merchants across the country, while hurting everyone outside Wall Street,” said Austen Jensen, RILA's vice president for government affairs. “RILA and the broader merchant community will fight any effort to repeal these reforms and we urge members of Congress to do the same.”   


RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad. 

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