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National Restaurant Association - Congress is trying to raise your debit card fees

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Congress is trying to raise your debit card fees

Some lawmakers are supporting a bill that that could raise restaurants’ debit-card fees.

We’re fighting back.

The National Restaurant Association blasted a letter to Congress today, asking the House Financial Services Committee to vote against a bill that would raise the “swipe fees” restaurants and other merchants pay when guests pay by debit card.

The committee could vote on the bill this week.

  • The threat: The 2,000-plus page Financial CHOICE Act, by Committee Chair Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), which includes a provision that would hike debit card swipe fees for restaurants and other businesses.
  • What the Financial CHOICE Act would do: The bill would repeal the reforms we fought hard for Congress to pass six years ago. Among other changes, the 2010 reforms – known as the “Durbin Amendment” – require debit swipe fees to be set at a level that’s “reasonable and proportional” to the actual cost of processing a debit transaction, not the percentages card companies want to charge.
  • Why we oppose it: The Durbin Amendment has helped reduce debit swipe fees for many restaurants to nearly half of what they were before 2010. If those in Congress pushing for repeal are successful, debit card swipe fees would revert back to an average of 44 cents or more per transaction. That would will drive up operational and consumer costs, which is just plain bad for business.

“Our members fought vigorously to achieve debit swipe fee reform six years ago, and we are categorically opposed to its repeal,” we told Congress today. “These critical reforms continue to bring a degree of competition, transparency and fairness to debit swipe fee costs where there was absolutely none previously.”

Ask Congress to oppose any effort to increase debit-card fees for restaurants.

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