Small business owners say transaction fees still too high, affecting summer promotions

Small-business owners expressed outrage Thursday when the Federal Reserve released its final rule that sets debit card transaction fees at approximately nine cents higher then they had originally proposed.

Retailers have been paying financial institutions up to 44 cents for each debit card transaction they process. Last year Congress ordered the Fed to cap the fee to a "reasonable" amount.

The Fed pleased retailers when it proposed a 12 cent cap in December but the final rule, released by the Fed on Thursday, capped the fee at 21 cents, which some small business owners are saying is still not enough.

"We were not prepared for a 21 cent rate," Dennis Lane, a 7-Eleven franchisee, said, according to

Lane said that many small businesses will be inhibited from initiating summer promotions and further hires as a result of higher-than-expected debit interchange cap.

"The list of what we can't do because of the higher debit interchange cap is the real issue here," Nick Diambre, a small business owner, said, reports. "We can't upgrade, we can't contribute to charities."

The Fed voted for the new rules 4-1.

It was "one of our most challenging rulemakings" under the financial regulatory law, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said, according to NPR.

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