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Sen. DeMint backs Parkmobile against Sen. Durbin

Jim DeMint

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has come to the aid of Parkmobile, which recently cited the Durbin Amendment as the reason for its fee increases, after the company elicited criticism from the rule’s namesake.

Parkmobile, which allows customers to remotely pay on parking meters, announced last month that it was increasing fees as a result of the Durbin Amendment, named after Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). Durbin said that the company misplaced the blame for the new fees, adding that card companies were responsible for the fee hikes because they no longer offer small-purchase discounts to merchants.

“Visa and MasterCard raised your fees, and as a merchant you were helpless to stop them short of the ceiling the new law created,” Durbin said.

DeMint criticized Durbin’s statements about the company, saying that Durbin’s “bare-knuckled tactics may have convinced the firm to retract its statement, but the fees are still going up.”

“Senator Durbin would prefer Parkmobile to blame companies that issue debit cards,” DeMint said. “But, indeed, it was Dodd-Frank, the so-called Wall Street reform legislation; and Senator Durbin’s amendment to Dodd-Frank, which capped ‘swipe fees,’ that caused debit card transaction fees on lower-priced items to rise.”

DeMint said that the provision capped the transaction fees for all items, adding that debit card companies had to raise fees on lower-priced items in order to make up for the lost revenue.

“Because of Durbin’s amendment, transaction fees for lower-priced items are higher than they were before,” DeMint said.

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