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    New NACS Chairman Speaks Out on Debit Reform

    Rahim Budhwani says swipe fees burden small businesses.

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — New NACS Chairman and CEO of 6040 LLC Rahim Budhwani spoke out in favor of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in a new op-ed piece for the Birmingham Business Journal.

    Budhwani pointed out that an eight-store convenience store chain in Alabama makes more money for banks than for its owners.

    "The swipe fees put an onerous burden on small businesses like mine, making it harder to survive in the hyper-competitive retail industry. Swipe fees, for instance, are now many businesses' second-largest operating cost after rent, including mine," Budhwani wrote.

    Budhwani stated that the Dodd-Frank reforms provided merchants access to other networks to process debit card transactions, and provided incentives to financial institutions to compete on swipe fees. He also warned against a bill passed by the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee that would repeal-Dodd-Frank.

    "Repealing debit reform would be bad for businesses like mine and bad for our customers — who will ultimately pay a lot for it if the bankers get their way. Even with debit reform, American merchants and their customers pay the highest swipe fees by far in the industrialized world. This makes no sense. With good technology and a huge volume of transactions here, the U.S. market should be about the cheapest in the world," Budhwani wrote. "Repealing debit reform would be a return to price-fixing by Visa and MasterCard and it would hurt consumers and Main Street businesses."

    NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, has pledged its support to halt the bill as long as it contains the debit reform appeal.

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