NRF launches advocacy campaign to preserve swipe-fee reform

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation has launched a major nationwide 60-day lobbying, grassroots and media campaign aimed at ensuring that a new federal law saving retailers and their customers more than $1 billion a month by lowering “swipe” fees banks charge to process debit-card transactions takes effect in late July as scheduled.

 A provision in last year’s Wall Street reform bill will reduce the fees by an estimated 70% saving about $14 billion a year that retailers plan to pass along to their customers through discounts or other benefits, but the credit-card industry is spending millions to delay the reform.

“Congress concluded last year that swipe fees have been driving up prices for consumers by far too much for far too long,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Now that Congress has done something about these fees, retailers are standing by to pass the savings along to their customers through lower prices and higher value. Our job over the next two months is to ensure that swipe-fee reform takes effect as planned, and consumers get to enjoy all the new benefits.”