June 24, 2016

Proposal to repeal swipe-fee reform would hike costs for consumers

Washington, D.C. -- The National Restaurant Association today issued the following statement opposing Chairman Jeb Hensarling’s (R-Texas) proposal to repeal debit swipe-fee reform:

“It’s disappointing that Chairman Hensarling continues to stand with big banks and card companies over Main Street businesses,” said Laura Chadwick, Director of Commerce and Entrepreneurship for the National Restaurant Association. “Debit swipe-fee reform injected a degree of competition, transparency and fairness where there was absolutely none before. Despite what the big banks and card companies would have you believe, this much-needed reform has helped keep costs low for consumers. We urge Members of Congress to stand with Main Street businesses over big banks and card companies.”

The facts on debit swipe-fee reform:

  • Swipe-fee reforms ended price fixing by bringing competition and transparency to debit-card processing costs.
  • Small banks and credit unions are not affected by the debit swipe-fee reforms. Financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets are exempt from the law. Fewer than 2% of banks are affected.
  •  A study by noted economist Robert Shapiro found that debit swipe-fee reforms saved consumers $5.8 billion in lower costs.
  • Interchange, or “swipe,” costs represent one of a restaurant’s highest costs even with these reforms in place. Repealing these reforms would be devastating to small and medium-sized restaurants.