Federal Reserve Extends Debit Card Swipe Fee Comment Period

There’s still time to take action to ask the Fed to reduce the debit card swipe fee rate.

January 31, 2024

The Federal Reserve Board announced that it will extend the comment period on its debit card swipe fee proposal by 60 days. The final date to file comments is now May 12, 2024.

The comment period was extended to “allow the public more time to analyze the proposal and prepare their comments,” the Fed said in a statement. The Fed also published additional data related to the swipe fee cap.

The debit card swipe fee proposal was released in October 2023, proposing to lower the amount banks can charge for debit card transactions from 21 cents to 14.4 cents per transaction. While the proposed rulemaking is a long overdue step in the right direction, the rate is still much higher that it should be.

Data overwhelmingly proves that the proposed new debit rate of 14.4 cents per transaction remains significantly higher than the actual cost to process debit transactions—which averages only about 4 cents per transaction.

NAS is urging its member companies to file comments asking the Fed to move forward with its proposed fee reductions but with lower fee levels and safeguards. If the proposed rate is enacted as is, the largest banks in the country would still enjoy a hefty debit swipe fee windfall.

Banks are currently flooding the administration with comments saying that the Fed should not reduce the rate at all. The Fed needs to hear from you on why it must reduce the debit card swipe fee rate.

Here are steps to submit comments to the Fed:

  • Personalize the template letter that NACS has prepared for you. Download an electronic copy of our letter OR write a letter of your own using these talking points.
    • NACS has left you highlighted, bracketed sections in the letter where you can fill in personal information about your company.
    • Feel free to further customize this letter. The more varied and personalized the comments, the more powerful it will be.

Want more information on swipe fees? Read “What’s Going On With Credit Card Swipe Fees.”