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    Congress Will Address Interchange Fees in '09: NACS President

    Armour predicts credit card fee reform legislation will be seriously addressed.

    PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- Congress will take a serious look at credit card interchange fee legislation in 2009, said Hank Armour, president and CEO of NACS -- the Association for Convenience and Petroleum Retailing, at a luncheon meeting with members of the New England Convenience Store Association (NECSA).

    While addressing industry trends, political issues and NACS initiatives, Armour noted credit card fees cost the c-store industry $7.6 billion in 2007, significantly lowering industrywide profits.

    Because of pressure from NACS and many other retail groups, Congress held hearings last year and legislation was introduced which stalled in late Congressional action.

    Armour said attention to the economy and the banking industry could aid efforts in 2009 to reform credit card interchange fees. Some solutions talked about including an arbitration panel, which would hear both sides of the issue and decide on a lower rate. In comparison, the U.S. rate is 1.75 percent, while it is 0.45 percent in Australia and 0.79 percent in the United Kingdom, Armour pointed out.

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