Bid to Delay Debit Card Swipe-Fee Rules Fails

An effort to delay swipe free reform pushed by Senator Bob Corker was shot down in the Senate.

Credit_CardThe banking industry’s multimillion-dollar PR blitz and lobbying campaign to block caps on debit card swipe fees ended when the Senate allowed a key piece of the Wall Street reform law passed last year to move ahead.

Some lawmakers who voted for the proposal last year to regulate the swipe fees that banks and credit card companies charge merchants feared being labeled as flip-flopping if they backed a delay.

“Some of the folks were worried politically. Even though they knew this policy was right, they were worried about folks back home not understanding their vote when they voted for [the fee caps] the first time,” said Sen. Bob Corker, who joined Sen. Jon Tester in co-authoring the legislation to delay the new swipe fee rules.

Under the new rules, the Federal Reserve would limit to 12 cents per transaction the fee that big banks and credit card companies charge merchants every time a consumer uses a debit card. Swipe fees, also called interchange fees, now average 44 cents.

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Source: Scott Wong | POLITICO