NRF launches advocacy campaign to preserve swipe-fee reform

Legislation designed to reduce fees by 70%

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation on Wednesday launched a 60-day lobbying, grassroots and media campaign aimed at ensuring that a new federal law — which is designed to save retailers and their customers more than $1 billion a month by lowering the “swipe fees" banks charge to process debit card transactions — takes effect in late July as scheduled.

A provision in last year’s Wall Street reform bill is designed to reduce the fees by an estimated 70%, saving about $14 billion a year, which retailers plan to pass along to their customers through discounts or other benefits. The credit card industry, however, is spending millions to delay the reform.

“Congress concluded last year that swipe fees have been driving up prices for consumers by far too much for far too long,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Now that Congress has done something about these fees, retailers are standing by to pass the savings along to their customers through lower prices and higher value. Our job over the next two months is to ensure that swipe-fee reform takes effect as planned and consumers get to enjoy all the new benefits.”

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