NRF, FMI and RILA applaud decision on swipe fees

Washington, D.C. -- The National Retail Federation, Food Marketing Institute and Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) both issued statements applauding the ruling on the Federal Reserve Swipe Fee Regulation. The groups were responding to a U.S. District Court ruling on Wednesday that the implementation rules for debit swipe fee reform established by the Federal Reserve were inconsistent with the intent of the law.

“From the very beginning, retailers and restaurants knew the Federal Reserve Board of Governors had grossly misapplied the swipe fee law, also known as the Durbin Amendment,” stated senior VP and general counsel Mallory Duncan. “They failed to heed Congress’ call to set fee standards that were ‘reasonable’ and ‘proportional’ to the actual cost of a transaction. Instead, the Board manufactured a standard that was two to three times higher than the Fed staff recommended.

“As a result, small ticket transactions, such as those imposed on convenience stores and restaurants, skyrocketed under the misapplied law.

“Congress clearly told the Fed to introduce competition and transparency into the debit card marketplace by making multiple networks available, so as to reduce swipe fees for merchants and their customers. The Fed failed to do so, and the court rightly ruled against them as a result. Today’s decision is the first step in setting these initial wrongs right and will ensure that swipe fee reform is done correctly.”

The National Retail Federation, Food Marketing Institute, National Association of Convenience Stores, Oil Miller Co. and Boscov’s Department Store LCC filed he initial complaint with the court.

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