Win for Retail: Debit Swipe Fee Reform Upheld


Durbin Amendment Repeal Stripped from Financial CHOICE Act

Last night, retailers and their customers scored a major win against the big banks and the Visa/MasterCard duopoly. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, informed House leadership that he was abandoning his effort to include repeal of the Durbin Amendment (debit card swipe fee reform) in his Dodd-Frank overhaul bill (“The Choice Act”). 

As a result of this decision, the caps on debit card costs are virtually certain to be retained; and retailers' ability to engage in competitive "lowest cost routing" will be preserved. These two provisions alone have collectively saved retailers (and their customers) more than eight billion dollars a year.

In May, the Kentucky Retail Federation signed a coalition letter with the Kentucky Restaurant Association, Kentucky Grocers and Convenience Store Association and Kentucky Petroleum Marketers Association that was sent to Kentucky’s six congressmen urging for H.R. 10 be amended to preserve swipe fee reform. 

“When retailers stand together, we have a stronger voice,” said Tod Griffin, KRF president. “I’d like to thank KRF members who reached out to their congressman in an effort to preserve swipe fee reform.”

While we’ve won the battle, the fight continues. Retailers must remain vigilant as the CHOICE Act moves through Congress. Stay tuned.

Sources: National Retail Federation and Retail Industry Leaders Association

Sarah Rowlette