ARLINGTON, VA — February 17, 2011 — The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) released the following statement from President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie G. Sarasin about today’s hearing by the House Financial Services, Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee on swipe fee reforms passed by Congress last year:

“Swipe fees have spiraled out of control for small businesses, including your locally owned grocery store. Despite the fact that the cost of processing these transactions has decreased, swipe fees have tripled in the past decade for small businesses.

Visa, MasterCard and the world’s biggest banks are spending billions of dollars to protect their unfair and highly lucrative status quo. Yet, nothing is more frightening to
small businesses than an unpredictable cost increase that is not budgeted for, especially when the increase is excessive.

Bipartisan swipe fee reforms passed by Congress last year will bring competition and fairness to the broken debit payments market. We strongly urge members of Congress to stand up for small businesses by ensuring these reforms are implemented on time and as written.”