Fed Must Keep Swipe Fees Relief on Track

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) today submitted a letter to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, urging it the adhere to the standard 90-day comment period for its proposed rule regarding debit interchange fees and not grant big banks and dominant card networks an extension or delay to the current timeline.

“Retailers and consumers applaud the actions of the Federal Reserve to lower the debit interchange rate and strongly encourage them to stay the course. Over the past twelve years big banks and dominant card networks have used all their efforts to exploit and evade this critical law. A request by any of these entities to extend the comment period is nothing more than an attempt to continue imposing egregious fees on merchants and shoppers,” said RILA Executive Vice President, Government Affairs Austen Jensen.

The letter states:

“Over the past twelve years…. these entities have deliberately sought to circumvent, overturn, and inhibit congressional intent as well as regulations codified by the Federal Reserve regarding the Durbin Amendment that has directly harmed every retailer in America.

“Granting any extension in the comment period or delay in the rule making process will embolden large issuing banks and card brands while excluding relief for retailers and consumers. The largest financial institutions have used every opportunity to exploit, ignore, and challenge this critical law until enforcement action is taken against their companies.

“RILA applauds the initial actions taken by the Board to realign the reasonable and proportional standard regarding debit interchange…It is imperative that, after 12 years, the Board stay the course on updating the Durbin Amendment to reflect the actual costs in the market and then move forward on a biannual process to ensure a reasonable and proportional standard is set.”

The full letter.

RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to elevate a dynamic industry by transforming the environment in which retailers operate.

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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