Lawmakers to Debate Credit Card Fees

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Lawmakers to Debate Credit Card Fees

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- House lawmakers this week will debate a controversial financial bill that aims to limit the interchange fees that credit card companies exact on transactions at retail stores, according to a report by The Hill.

Democratic Reps. Peter Welch of Vermont and Zoe Lofgren of California have sponsored legislation aimed at clamping down on the fees. Welch appeared at a rally on the issue last week joined by a group of 7-Eleven store operators and NACS -- The Association for Convenience and Petroleum Retailing. The group collected 130 boxes of petitions with more than 1.6 million signatures in support of the new interchange restrictions.

The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing on the bill Thursday.

Retailers argue the fees are excessive and eat into their profit margins, forcing them to pass on the cost to consumers, while financial groups argue that the bill is misguided and the campaign against the fees is not about protecting small retailers.

"The big-box retailers, hiding behind some of the convenience-store folks, want to use the electronic payment system for free, which is ridiculous when they get higher sales, convenience from having to deal with cash, guaranteed payment for their services and products, and all the risk associated with credit cards gets passed onto the financial institutions," Dan Berger, executive vice president of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU), said in The Hill report.

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Credit Card Interchange War Marches On