March 22, 2014
On 21st March 2014, the National Retail Federation, National Restaurant Association and many others involved - expressed disappointment in the court decision that saw the Federal Reserve’s cap on Debit card swipe fees remain at 21 cents. This ruling was issued by the US Appeals Court for the District of Columbia, and spells a victory for the banking industry.
NRF is disappointed and remains confident that the Federal Reserve erred when it set the swipe fee cap far higher than intended by Congress, said NRF’s Sr V.P and General Counsel, Mallory Duncan. The Fed ignored congressional intent and worked to shield debit card companies and big banks. A self-described victory for the banks usually results in higher costs for consumers.
'We are disappointed in the outcome of today's U.S Court of Appeal's decision to largely uphold the Federal Reserve's debit card interchange fee rule and network non-exclusivity rule. The U.S. District Court's original ruling appropriately took into account the concerns raised by small ticket merchants. Allowing higher fees on small-ticket bills was not the intent of Congress and an unintended consequence of the Federal Reserve's flawed implementation of the law, said the NRA's EVP of Policy and Government Affairs, Scott DeFife. We hope the Federal Reserve will exercise its existing authority to reconcile this failure and ensure the major card brands cannot continue to impose unreasonable debit card fees on the restaurant and foodservice industry to the detriment of thousands of businesses and ultimately our customers, he added.
NRF’s work over the past several years led to a cap that cut debit swipe fees in half. That has saved many retailers and consumers billions of dollars but the fees, especially for small ticket transactions, are still far too high, said Duncan. We are reviewing the decision and will determine whether to appeal.