Retailers, gas stations, restaurateurs and other businesses that regularly receive payment through customer debit cards won the day in the U.S. Senate Wednesday, with opponents of caps on debit card swipe fees falling short of votes needed to delay implementation of the caps for two years.
The Senate vote lets the Federal Reserve limit to 12 cents the “interchange” fee banks can charge merchants each time a customer swipes a debit card. Fees now average about 44 cents for each swipe.
The cap is to go into effect July 21.
Banks earn about $16 billion a year from the fees, according to the Federal Reserve. Banks say they will have to raise other fees charged to customers to offset the lost revenue.
Merchants, on the other hand, say they higher costs for products, especially gasoline and energy, are battering their bottom lines. The lower fees will help them survive in a tough economy, retailers say.
A bi-partisan coalition of Senators who wanted to block the fee caps needed 60 votes to prevail. But Wednesday’s vote was 54-45 – six short of 60, The Associated Press reported.
Ted |Carter/MBJ Staff
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info