The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing today, February 17, 2011 to discuss the Federal Reserve’s Proposed Rule on Interchange Fees. The proposal was released in December as required by the “Durbin Amendment” in the Wall Street Reform Act.
Under the Fed’s proposal, debit card swipe fees (the fees merchants pay when they accept debit cards) would be largely capped at 7 – 12 cents per transaction. That’s a big cut from the 44 – 56 cents merchants now pay, on average, per transaction.
Today’s hearing promises a heated debate. David Seltzer, Vice President and Treasurer of 7-Eleven, will be speaking in favor of the proposed caps on behalf of the National Retail Industry Leaders Association. He will likely tout benefits like lower prices at the cash register and new jobs. (7-Eleven is widely credited with getting the ball rolling on this campaign with an in-store petition that garnered millions of signatures from customers.)
On the other side will be opponents of the proposal like Mr. David Kemper, Chairman, President and CEO, of Commerce Bank who will be speaking on behalf of the American Bankers Association and the Consumer Bankers Association. He will no doubt warn that the cap could mean fewer free checking accounts or debit card rewards. (Note, I have not seen either person’s testimony yet. I am making an educated guess based on the reported pros and cons of debit interchange reform. )
Join Our Tweetchat!
I’ll be watching the hearing today online and hosting a TweetChat. Follow along on Twitter and join in the discussion at #CCOMdebit. It should be interesting!
Image by petesimon, via Flickr