| October 4, 2011

Retailers to tackle credit card fees next

The retail industry recently picked up a big win in convincing the federal government to institute a cap on the amount payment processing companies could charge for handling debit card purchases, and is now turning its attention to the next logical step: credit card swipe fees.

Lobbyists working for the retail industry will soon begin trying to chip away at the fees payment processors can charge for credit card transactions, according to a report from the political news site The Hill. Retailers say that these charges cost their industry about $30 billion per year.

“We have talked about credit and debit card fees for a long time,” said Doug Kantor, counsel to the Merchant Payments Coalition, told the news site. “We’re now in a sense refocusing on credit card fees and reminding lawmakers of the bad behavior by the banks and the credit card companies.”

Retailers’ successful lobbying efforts saw the amount charged for debit card purchases reduced from a percentage of purchase prices that averaged 44 cents per transaction to a hard cap of just 21 cents. Banks say the change will cost them billions per year.

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