My first day at NRF coincided with our annual Washington Leadership Conference – and there could not have been a better example of how retailers working together can demonstrate the importance of our industry to the nation’s economy.
This year’s conference came as the Senate considered financial services reform and an amendment from Majority Whip Richard Durbin requiring the Federal Reserve to determine “reasonable” interchange fees for debit cards. The amendment would also make it easier for retailers to offer a discount for cash, check or debit rather than credit cards, and to set minimum and maximum card purchases.
Averaging about 1 percent, debit card interchange fees are roughly half the amount banks charge retailers to process credit card transactions, but amount to more than $10 billion a year and are growing with increased debit use. Moreover, NRF has long argued that debit cards are electronic checks that should pass at face
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