(The Senate rejects a delay of new federal regulations that will slash the swipe fees financial institutions charge merchants when customers pay with debit cards.)
Author: Sylvia Burley
For once, Main Street scored a victory over Wall Street! The Senate left in place pending federal rules that will cap the fees charged by banks each time a consumer swipes a debit card.
The regulation, approved as part of last year’s Wall Street overhaul law, is scheduled to go into effect next month. The Federal Reserve would cap debit card swipe fees to 12 cents per transaction. Fees now average 44 cents, officials said. Swipe fees totalled about $16 billion in 2009.
Retailers largely support the new regulation, but banks and credit card companies have mostly opposed limits being placed on the amount they can collect on debit card transactions, which are now higher than any other form of noncash payments.
But the attempt Wednesday to roll back the regulations and preserve the higher fees came within six votes of passage, so we know the fight isn’t over.
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