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NRF weighs in on court's swipe fees decision

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation has issued a statement from SVP and general counsel Mallory Duncan on U.S. District Judge Richard Leon’s decision regarding swipe fee reforms. The judge found that the Federal Reserve misapplied Congress’ intent when it implemented the required reforms. 

“From the very beginning, retailers and restaurants knew the Federal Reserve Board of Governors had grossly misapplied the swipe fee law, also known as the Durbin Amendment,” said Duncan in a released statement. “They failed to heed Congress’ call to set fee standards that were ‘reasonable’ and ‘proportional’ to the actual cost of a transaction. Instead, the board manufactured a standard that was two to three times higher than the Fed staff recommended.”

A move that, according to Duncan, resulted in small ticket transactions, such as those imposed on convenience stores and restaurants, “skyrocketing under the misapplied law.”

“Congress clearly told the Fed to introduce competition and transparency into the debit card marketplace by making multiple networks available, so as to reduce swipe fees for merchants and their customers,” continued Duncan. “The Fed failed to do so, and the court rightly ruled against them as a result. Today’s decision is the first step in setting these initial wrongs right and will ensure that swipe fee reform is done correctly.”

The National Retail Federation, Food Marketing Institute, National Association of Convenience Stores, Oil Miller Co. and Boscov’s Department Store filed the initial complaint with the court.

The NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support 1-in-4 U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s "This is Retail" campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for lifelong careers, how retailers strengthen communities and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation.