Retailers Not Ready to Give Up Interchange Suit
Retailers said they may fight a March 21 U.S. Court of Appeal's decision reinstating the Federal Reserve's debit interchange rule.
That rule capped debit interchange income for institutions with more than $10 billion in assets and required at least two independent processing networks.
Should retailers appeal the decision, it could reintroduce uncertainty into credit union debit card management. However, retailers would have to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which would decide whether or not to hear it.
“NRF is disappointed and remains confident that the Federal Reserve erred when it set the swipe fee cap far higher than intended by Congress,” National Retail Federation Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said. “The Fed ignored congressional intent and worked to shield debit card companies and big banks. A self-described victory for the banks usually results in higher costs for consumers.”
“NRF’s work over the past several years led to a cap that cut debit swipe fees in half,” Duncan added. “That has saved many retailers and consumers billions of dollars but the fees, especially for small ticket transactions, are still far too high. We are reviewing the decision and will determine whether to appeal.”
The Merchant Payments Coalition, an organization of associations formed to force lower interchange levels, said it would .Will take a hard look at any next steps.
“The fact that the rule let swipe fees increase on many small dollar transactions makes no sense and is a deficiency that needs to be addressed,” the group said in a release in response to the decision.