Debit Card Fee Limits Upheld

On June 8, the United States Senate rejected an amendment
that would have delayed the capping of swipe fees for two years.

The vote was 54-45. To pass, 60 votes were needed.

Swipe fees are the charges that banks levy upon merchants to
process debit cards. According to Time, those charges now average 44 cents per
swipe. The Federal Reserve has proposed limiting the fees to 12 cents. 

The change is now set to go into effect July 21. Credit card fees are not impacted.

So-called swipe fee reform, championed by Sen. Dick Durbin
(D-Ill.), was included as an amendment to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and
Consumer Protection Act, which was signed by President Obama in July 2010. The
banking industry has criticized the measure and repeatedly tried to delay its
implementation.

The National Retail Federation hailed the Senate’s vote. 

“This is a landmark victory for American consumers that will
give them the break from skyrocketing swipe fees that they have been seeking
for years,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail
Federation, in a statement.  

The group has said it plans to push for legislation addressing credit card fees.