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Swipe Fee Deal: Merchants Beat Wall Street

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-21-10 04:59 PM
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Swipe Fee Deal: Merchants Beat Wall Street
Source: Huffington Post

Wall Street reform negotiators struck a deal Monday to regulate the swipe fees that major banks and credit card companies can charge to merchants -- costs that are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. The cost to merchants of using credit cards has more than doubled since 2003 even as merchants' profits have declined, a contradiction only explained by the monopolistic system that lets banks continuously raise swipe fees.

The deal, struck between Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and key House negotiators, leaves out some elements that consumer advocates had been fighting for. It allows fees charged to reloadable, prepaid debit cards -- generally used by the poor -- to remain unregulated. And it allows an exemption for states that use debit cards to dole out benefits. But, for the first time, banks and credit card companies will face restrictions on the fees they can charge merchants for the privilege of accepting credit and debit cards. (Read a summary of the deal here.)

Last week, merchants descended on the Capitol to make the case for reform.

"This agreement is a major victory for small business owners and consumers fed up with big bank and credit card industry rip-offs," said Rep. Peter Welch, a House Democrat from Vermont who was involved with the negotiations. "It preserves key protections for the grocers, retailers and country store owners most affected by out-of-control swipe fees, while addressing legitimate concerns of the industry. I am confident this agreement will be approved by the full committee because every conferee represents small business owners who are tired of serving as a piggy bank for Visa and MasterCard."

Welch was the champion of the measure in the House; his satisfaction with the deal sends a signal to progressives about the value of the compromise.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/21/swipe-fee-deal...
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burnsei sensei Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-21-10 05:08 PM
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1. High prices?
These are, of course, more burdensome than high taxes.
So why not tax these entities more strenuously?
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-21-10 06:16 PM
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2. Shameful ...
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BeliQueen Donating Member (433 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-21-10 07:08 PM
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3. Yet again screw the poor, but the businesses...
get a break.

Our system is so broken.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-21-10 11:09 PM
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4. Extremely good. (nt)
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