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WASHINGTON -- UnfairCreditCardFees.com, a project of the Merchants Payments Coalition, unveiled a new television ad urging members of Congress to support the Durbin amendment to the financial regulatory reform package now in conference committee.
The commercial, titled "Rip Off," is airing on national cable outlets.
"Congress has a tremendous opportunity to help small businesses and consumers by limiting debit card swipe fees," said Lyle Beckwith, of NACS. "Swipe fees have gone up 300 percent in the past decade and the credit card companies are laughing all the way to the bank. If fees are cut small businesses will be able to grow their business, pay their employees more, and pass savings along to consumers. It's time for Congress to enact commonsense swipe fee reform."
The amendment would empower the Fed to impose caps on debit card transaction, or swipe, fees that are "reasonable and proportional" to the actual cost of doing business, Beckwith noted. "In 2008, credit card companies and their issuing banks collected more than $48 billion in credit and debit card swipe fees. While it only costs pennies for the credit card companies to process the transaction, they charge from 2 percent to 5 percent of the total transaction cost for their swipe fees. Studies show that more than 80 percent of swipe fees go to credit card companies' marketing promotions and profits."
The commercial tells viewers: "Small business is getting ripped off. Every time you swipe your card, credit card companies and big banks make big bucks. Swipe fees cost consumers and small business $48 billion a year. Money that could be helping to create jobs. The Senate acted to stop the swipe fee rip-off, but the same big banks we bailed out are spending millions and will say anything to protect their huge fees.
"Tell Congress: Stand with small business keep the Durbin swipe fee fix and make it law."
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