Credit/Debit Cards

Appeal deadline passes for retailers in interchange fee debate

debit_cardsThe May 5 deadline for retailers to petition a federal appeals court’s decision to uphold the Federal Reserve’s controversial debit interchange rule has passed, meaning the mandate will become final next Monday.

In a victory for credit card companies and financial institutions, the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia overturned a lower court decision in March that sided with retailers who said Congress intended the Fed’s interchange rule—which limits the amount banks can charge merchants to process debit transactions—to be lower.

In a statement released following the appeals court’s decision, retailers represented by the National Retail Federation expressed disappointment in the ruling, which upheld the Fed cap at 21 cents per transaction.

“NRF is disappointed and remains confident that the Federal Reserve erred when it set the swipe fee cap far higher than intended by Congress,” NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said. “The Fed ignored congressional intent and worked to shield debit card companies and big banks. A self-described victory for the banks usually results in higher costs for consumers.”

Merchants still have the option to file a petition by June 19 to seek review by the Supreme Court.

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