ALEXANDRIA, VA - Lyle Beckwith, senior vice president for government relations at NACS, today released the following statement regarding a bill introduced by retiring Rep. Randy Neugebauer, chairman of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee of House Financial Services Committee, to repeal the Durbin Amendment that reformed debit card swipe fees.
“NACS is deeply disappointed that Rep. Neugebauer has introduced a proposal to repeal debit swipe fee reform. The proposal would allow credit card Goliaths to resume price-fixing of debit-card fees and add new costs for consumers and small retailers.
“Even with reform of debit swipe fees, the credit card price-fixing by Visa and MasterCard means retailers and consumers in the United States pay the highest swipe fees in the world – up to seven or eight times European levels. Without the vital protections and small measure of competition debit reform has introduced to the market, consumers would face higher prices and smaller merchants would face even greater burdens.
“We strongly urge Congress to put the interests of consumers, merchants and the economy as a whole ahead of the desire by the credit card giants to resume fixing prices without limitation.”
According to Doug Kantor, counsel to NACS, “It is unfortunate that Mr. Neugebauer chose to make one of his final acts in Congress an attempt to undermine the free market and instead support price-fixing that benefits the largest of the largest banks and threatens consumers, merchants and the entire economy.”
Neugebauer’s legislation comes just one week after Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, announced plans to repeal swipe fee reform and the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, which contains the Durbin Amendment. “The Hensarling proposal would promote more price-fixing and detract from the few market forces that were actually created on debit card fees,” said Kantor.