WASHINGTON — Retail associations on Wednesday applauded President Obama's signing of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The new law will for the first time regulate debit-card interchange fees set by banks and credit-card companies.
“Retailers and their customers are winners today,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, president and chief executive officer, Food Marketing Institute, in a prepared statement. “We applaud the President for signing this law to bring fairness and transparency to these fees.”
“This is a dramatic first step in the fight to control rising credit- and debit-card fees and has tremendous potential for savings, but we know the fight isn’t over,” said Matt Shay, president and CEO, National Retail Federation. “Big banks lobbied hard to keep this legislation from becoming law, and we fully expect them to put pressure on the Federal Reserve as it drafts the regulations intended to result in the 'reasonable’ debit-card fees sought by Congress.”
The bill includes an amendment that would require the Federal Reserve to set regulations resulting in “reasonable and proportional” interchange fees for debit cards. The amendment also bars the card industry from interfering with merchants who offer a discount or other benefit to customers who pay by cash, check or debit card rather than credit cards, and would allow merchants to set minimum purchase amounts of up to $10 for credit cards.