June 07, 2016

National Restaurant Association opposes repeal of swipe fee feform

Proposal would increase costs to restaurants, consumers

Today the National Restaurant Association issued the following statement in response to Rep. Jeb Hensarling’s (R-Texas) forthcoming proposal to repeal the “Dodd-Frank” banking regulation reforms:

"Today, Chairman Hensarling announced his intention to repeal hard-fought debit swipe fee reform that has helped to keep costs low for restaurant customers,” said Laura Chadwick, Director of Commerce and Entrepreneurship for the National Restaurant Association. “This measure placed limits on the fees banks charge to process debit card transactions and injected a degree of competition, transparency and fairness where there was absolutely none before.  Chairman Hensarling, in making this announcement, has decided to stand with big banks over Main Street businesses. 

"Given the ongoing and rough transition to EMV or chip cards and the corresponding explosion in chargebacks for restaurants, removing limits on debit swipe fees is a step in the wrong direction for consumers and restaurants alike. Banks and card brands have long said that high interchange rates are needed to account for the vast amount of counterfeit card fraud in the payment card system. Since the EMV liability shift in October 2015, restaurants along with all other merchants are now bearing the cost of this fraud instead of banks.

"Without debit swipe fee reform, banks and card brands will have their cake and eat it too: no liability for counterfeit fraud and an unlimited ability to charge whatever they please for swipe fees -- all to the detriment of restaurant consumers and a free market economy."