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National Restaurant Association - Find out what new debit-card swipe-fee caps mean for your business

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Find out what new debit-card swipe-fee caps mean for your business

The National Restaurant Association and Heartland Payments Systems team up for a webinar for NRA members on Thursday, Sept. 29, on the impact of new regulations that take effect Oct. 1 and for the first time cap debit-card "swipe fees" for merchants.

The new regulations were issued by the Federal Reserve three months ago to implement the NRA-supported Durbin Amendment, which Congress enacted as part of the larger Dodd-Frank financial reform bill in the summer of 2010.

After hearing for years from restaurateurs and other merchants about the climbing and uncontrollable interchange fees imposed on merchants each time guests pay by debit card, Congress instructed the Fed to come up with rules to ensure debit-card fees are "reasonable and proportional" to the cost of processing debit transactions.

Debit fees overall currently average 44 cents per transaction. The Fed initially proposed setting a swipe-fee cap of 7 to 12 cents per transaction to cover card issuers' costs for authorizing, clearing and settling transactions, but in its final regulations specified a cap of 21 cents plus 0.05 percent of the transaction amount.

While 21 cents isn't as good as the 12-cent cap the Fed originally proposed, the new cap will have an overall positive impact on the restaurant industry -- and for the first time, banks and card companies will be prohibited from upping the rates anytime they want. However, some industry segments won't realize immediate savings.

Find out what the Durbin Amendment changes mean for your restaurant business. Presenters for the Sept. 29 webinar, 2 p.m. ET, include Heartland Payments Systems' Bob Carr, president and CEO; Robin Trickel, director, product compliance; and Kristi Kuehn, senior business analyst. They will be joined by Dave Koenig, vice president, tax and profitability, National Restaurant Association.

You will need your NRA member ID to register for this member-exclusive webinar. Visit www.restaurant.org/events/webinars to register.

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