NACS strongly opposes Rep. Hensarling’s proposal to repeal debit swipe fee reform

Alexandria, VA, 2016-Jun-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — NACS today released the following statement regarding plans announced by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX-5), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, to repeal the Durbin Amendment, which reformed debit card swipe fees:

“NACS strongly opposes Rep. Hensarling’s proposal to repeal debit swipe fee reform, which has saved consumers nearly $6 billion and supported more than 37,000 jobs a year. Rep. Hensarling would undercut the free market by allowing the giant credit card companies and banks to resume price-fixing of debit card fees.

“Debit swipe fee reform introduced some measure of competition into the debit card market, which nevertheless continues to be largely controlled by the Visa-MasterCard duopoly.  Even with reform, American merchants and consumers must still pony up the highest debit and credit swipe fees in the world—up to seven or eight times what Europeans are assessed.

“Without the vital protections in debit reform, higher debit card fees would not only add to prices for consumers but also represent a tremendous additional burden to smaller merchants—especially convenience store owners, whose customers often engage in multiple transactions at the gas pump and within the store. Card fees are the second-largest operating cost for many retailers, preventing them from expanding or hiring.

“We strongly urge members of Congress and the House to reject the proposed repeal of debit swipe fee reform and maintain the indispensable protections it provides American merchants and consumers.”

NACS supported enactment of the Durbin Amendment, which was signed into law in 2010 and directs the Federal Reserve to ensure debit interchange fees are “reasonable and proportional” to the costs incurred.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores across the country, conducts 160 million transactions a day, sells 80% of the fuel purchased in the country and had total sales of $575 billion in 2015. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,700 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.