The One to Count On...

Swipe Fee Debate Will Affect Local Retailers, Banks

Posted: Monday, June 6th, 2011 at 6:23 am
Author: KNIA/KRLS News-Shaylon Cochran

Another large swath of the economy is under fire in Washington with real local consequences.

As part of a larger piece of national financial legislation, the so-called Durbin Amendement would put a cap on what are called swipe fees, the fee a financial institution receives from a merchant when your debit card is used.

Retailers are in favor of the move, citing serious cost savings. Cammie Nelson, owner of Cammies Place says use of debit cards for small purchases hurts her bottom line as the cost to accept the card is more than the profit for the item sold.

Brandon Breuklander at Breaduex Pizza says nearly 80% of his sales are paid for with plastic.

Margaret Ratcliff with Midwest One Bank says the 7-12 cent cap being proposed would eliminate nearly $2 million in income for that institution. She says those fees are important in protecting against fraud and other risks.

Both sides contend it’s the consumer who loses as prices will go up either at the bank or the check stand to compensate. Both retailers encourage the use of cash or check when shopping at local businesses.

A vote is expected on the measure next month.