Swipe Fee Reform

Credit and debit card swipe fee reform remains one of the retail industry’s top priorities. Card companies and banks collect swipe fees on each transaction where a customer uses a credit or debit card to make a purchase. These fees are set centrally by the credit card companies for the banks, and retailers have historically not been able to negotiate these rates. FMI and the merchant community achieved a great legislative victory upon passage of debit card swipe fee reforms, often referred to as the Durbin amendment as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203). FMI has been successful in defeating efforts to delay the debit card reforms despite significant lobbying by the banking industry.  

The reforms authorized the Federal Reserve Board to determine reasonable and proportional rates for debit card swipe fees. The Federal Reserve released a proposed rule at the end of 2010 and its final rule on the reforms in June 2011. Protecting debit card swipe fee reforms will continue to be an ongoing battle in Washington. FMI remains focused on educating lawmakers about the industry’s concerns over the swipe fee issue and its impact on retailers.

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Swipe Fee Resources


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Blog Posts

  • Photo Friday: Congressional Happenings on the West Coast with Northgate Gonzalez Market

    The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) helped Northgate Gonzalez Market host Congressman Tony Cardenas (D-CA) on April 13 at store #24 in Norwalk, CA, where they showcased the mercado concept and talked through some of the more pressing issues impacting the supermarket industry, such as FDA menu labeling, “swipe” fees, and WIC licensing.
  • Promoting the Importance of Debit Reforms in Your Networks

    Thanks to modern technologies, engaging with customers, friends, elected officials and the media has become much easier, more efficient and more powerful. Retailers can use social media as a powerful driver to share their perspectives on the impact these hidden swipe fees have on their business operations, and we know that for some, these fees constitute one of their highest operating expenses.
  • Shaping Our Policy Priorities for the Year

    Each year, FMI’s Government Relations department surveys its member companies to understand their policy and legislative priorities and how FMI can enhance our voice for food retail in Washington D.C. With a new presidential Administration and a new Congress, it is especially critical to focus on new opportunities and challenges for each of these issues so that we can have a measurable impact on the legislative and regulatory fronts of food retail.