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Supreme Court to Consider Case on Debit Card ‘Swipe Fees’ in Landmark Hearing

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The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case requesting the Federal Reserve to reduce the cap on debit card swipe fees. The case was brought forward by a truck stop and convenience store in North Dakota, along with two retail industry associations. They argue that the current cap is higher than what Congress intended according to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. The National Retail Federation (NRF) supports the appeal, stating that processing transaction costs for banks have significantly decreased, and high swipe fees increase costs for merchants and prices for consumers.

The NRF is also advocating for a bill proposed by Senator Dick Durbin called the Credit Card Competition Act. This bill would require financial institutions with over $100 billion in assets to provide at least two network options for credit card transactions, one of which must not be Visa or Mastercard. The Electronic Payment Coalition (EPC), representing financial institutions and credit unions, opposes the bill. They point to the cap on debit card fees as evidence of the failure of such restrictions and argue that merchants did not pass on the savings to customers in the form of lower prices.

The EPC’s viewpoint has not been confirmed by a request for comment from The Hill. The Supreme Court’s decision to take up the case raises questions about the future regulation of swipe fees and the potential impact on both banks and merchants.

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