[via press release]
Washington, D.C. – The National Restaurant Association reacted to the Federal Reserve’s proposed rule today regarding debit card interchange fees.
“Today’s proposed rules from the Federal Reserve demonstrate progress toward creating a more balanced debit card transaction fee process,” said Dawn Sweeney, National Restaurant Association President and CEO. “The rules reflect the intent of Congress, which was to create a fairer system and protect consumers and businesses from these hidden fees.
“Making the transaction fee process more transparent and lowering interchange fees will bring real savings to businesses, which can then be passed along to consumers,” said Sweeney. “Merchants pay about $48 billion in interchange fees every year. For restaurants, interchange fees are often the third greatest operating expense, behind labor and food costs. The National Restaurant Association will continue to work to ensure the final rules bring fairness, transparency, and reasonable costs for processing transactions for restaurants and other merchants.”
“The direction of the proposed rule from the Fed today is very positive for consumers and restaurants, and seems to recognize a core principle that a reasonable cost of transaction can be made through a per transaction limit, rather than a percentage of the bill,” said Scott DeFife, Executive Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs for the Association. “This change should allow consumers to see real savings when they dine out and use debit cards.”
Following today’s announcement, there will now be a 60-day comment period on the proposed rules. The rules are to be finalized by April 21 and implemented by July 21.
The National Restaurant Association is a member of the Merchants Payments Coalition, a group of retailers, supermarkets, drug stores, convenience stores, fuel stations, on-line merchants and other businesses who are fighting against unfair debit and credit card fees. The coalition’s member associations collectively represent about 2.7 million stores with approximately 50 million employees.