Credit card interchange reform next on retailer groups’ agenda

Katherine LugarAs the Durbin Amendment dust continues to settle, retailer trade groups are gearing up for their next lobbying battle to convince Congress to issue regulations capping interchange fees on credit cards.

Katherine Lugar, the executive vice president of public affairs for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, said that her trade group will fight just as hard for credit card interchange fee caps as it did for debit cards, according to

“Step one is to educate members on both sides of the aisle,” Lugar said, reports. “Step two is to get strong bipartisan support. It will be more fierce. If you thought that was intense, Katie, bar the door!”

Recently, the National Retail Federation announced a $10 million lobbying campaign to push legislators and regulators towards their ambitious agenda that includes reforming credit card swipe fees.

Financial services experts are not convinced that retailers will have the same success with credit card interchange reform as they did with debit cards.

Scott Talbott, the senior vice president for government affairs at the Financial Services Rountable, said that lawmakers are fatigued on the issue.

“They see both sides coming and they say, ‘leave me alone. Get out of my office,’” Talbott said, reports.

During the last two Congressional cycles, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced bills to cap both debit and credit card interchange fees.

Durbin’s spokesman said that the senator will take “a very close look” at reforming interchange fees again.

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