Friday, June 25, 2010

Senator Reed helps local merchants

June 25, 2010

This information just in from Alayne White who met recently with Senator Jack Reed to discuss
credit card swipe fees.


Local Business Leaders Thank Senator Reed for Supporting Commonsense Swipe Fee Reform
After meeting with Senator Reed’s staff in Washington, D.C. to urge support, Senator Reed votes to support small businesses and consumers

WASHINGTON—With swipe fee reform poised to pass Congress, small business owners in Rhode Island thank Senator Reed for supporting commonsense reform in conference committee. The bipartisan measure sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) is now included in the final version of financial reform legislation, which could be signed into law by President Obama as early as next week. Local small business owners, including Alayne White of Alayne White Spa, Julie Zito of the Pastry Gourmet, Paul Mancieri of Leo’s Restaurant, and Jessica Grantiero of the Savory Grape met with Senator Reed’s staff last week in Washington, D.C., to discuss the firsthand effects of excessive swipe fees and urge support.

“Swipe fee reform is approaching the finish line – thanks to the support of Senator Reed," said Alayne White, owner of Alayne White’s Spa in Bristol and Providence. “Small businesses have been devastated by rising swipe fees for years, and the relief provided by the swipe fee amendment would go a long way in helping us. There are many things I could do if I wasn’t paying outrageous swipe fees to Visa, MasterCard and the big banks - for example, expand my business, hire new employees or offer more competitive prices to my customers. I was grateful for the opportunity to meet with Senator Reed’s staff and am pleased he heard us out and has sided with Rhode Island small businesses and consumers. Congress now has an historic opportunity to pass swipe fee reform as early as next week, and I hope they will do just that. Everyone wins here.”

The U.S. currently pays higher swipe fees than any other industrialized nation – with rates that have tripled in less than a decade. Rates are set by credit card companies and can be increased at any time. Most recently, Visa increased rates by 30% in April. Swipe fees associated with debit card transactions can be as much as 43 times higher than those associated with paper check transactions – despite the fact that a debit card is essentially just an electronic check. Senator Durbin’s amendment addresses this discrepancy and would ensure these fees are “reasonable and proportional” to the cost of processing the transaction. At the same time, the Durbin amendment protects more than 99 percent of credit unions and small banks across the country. A bipartisan majority in the Senate passed an amendment last month, the House-Senate conference committee supported it, and now the measure needs final Congressional approval.


Anonymous said...

That's great news. As an online merchant I pay a lot in swipe fees.

Anonymous said...

Finally, relief for the small business people. What took you so long Mr. Reed?