ABA Urges Booksellers to Voice Opposition to Swipe Fee Cap Repeal

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The American Booksellers Association is urging booksellers to contact their U.S. congressional representatives to voice their strong opposition to the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 5983). If passed by Congress, the CHOICE Act would repeal a measure that regulates swipe fees charged by banks for debit card transactions.

The Durbin “swipe fee” amendment was signed into law in 2010 as part of the sweeping Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Under the Durbin amendment, the Federal Reserve set rules that placed a cap on swipe fees for debit cards at 21 cents. In 2012, the Federal Reserve reported that the average interchange fee has nearly been halved.

“If banks are allowed to increase card interchange fees at will, retailers will have to either absorb the higher cost or pass it on to their customers,” said David Grogan, ABA director of public policy and advocacy. “Small businesses are the engine of the economy and the key job creators, but when the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing on the CHOICE Act, they did not invite any small businesses to testify. This is why booksellers’ elected representatives need to hear from them today.”

To make this outreach easier for booksellers, ABA has posted a template letter in its Advo-Kit that booksellers can adapt and use to contact their members of Congress. Simply click on the letter entitled “Letter to Federal Lawmakers: Overtime, Access to Capital, or Swipe Fees.” Booksellers with questions regarding swipe fees or any other advocacy issues are encouraged to contact Grogan.