NSBA Speaks out in Favor of Swipe Fee Reform

March 10, 2011

Today, NSBA President Todd McCracken joined Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) at the Capitol in support of swipe fee reform. McCracken and Durbin were joined by nearly 100 small-business owners as they urged Congress and the Federal Reserve (the Fed) to protect commonsense swipe fee reform enacted last year.

In 2010, Congress passed legislation to reform and reign-in the grossly unfair interchange fees—or swipe fees—charged by large, credit and debit card-issuing banks to firms that accept credit and debit cards as payment. As part of that legislation, the Fed was charged with addressing swipe fees to ensure they are“reasonable and proportional” to the overall cost of processing the transaction.

Unfortunately, big banks and credit card companies have launched a massive campaign to undermine these reforms. Reforms that have been widely supported by myriad business and consumer groups, including NSBA.

“Small businesses aren’t trying to do away with credit and debit cards, we just want them to play by the rules,” stated NSBA President Todd McCracken. “Small businesses have been at the mercy of these large banks for years, and the swipe fee reforms merely inject fairness and transparency back into a market that has been dictated by a handful of companies for years.”

Swipe fees have been a sweet spot for major financial institutions, even in the downturned economy, as just 10 credit and debit card issuers raked in more than 80 percent of the $48 billion earned by the industry in swipe fees for 2008 alone.

“Despite what they may say, it is these massive profits that have prompted the banks’ lobbying campaign—not so-called price controls, or new burdens associated with these reforms,” said McCracken. “We reject any notion that these large banks are only watching out for our interests, particularly given the windfall profits they’ve earned at our expense.”

Please click here for more information on NSBA’s stance on swipe fees.

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National Small Business Association

National Small Business Association