Bank’s Delay Plan Fails: Debit Card Fees to be Slashed in July

Earlier this afternoon in a blow to the banking sector, the U.S. Senate defeated a bipartisan plan to postpone federal debit card regulations that were passed last May.

The new regulations- which will cap the debit card fees at 12 cents per transaction, as opposed to the current average of 44 cents- was met by heavy opposition from the American Banking Association, who claimed they would be forced to raise other service charges such as checking fees in order to mitigate the loss.

Senators who agreed and wished to block the Fed’s plan needed 60 votes to prevail, but came up six short at 54-45.
The 54-to-45 vote means that the new rules will take effect next month as scheduled on July 21st.

The vote is a victory for retailers, who have constantly complained that banks and the companies that control the largest debit card networks, Visa and MasterCard, have consistently raised the fees on debit card transactions even as the market has grown rapidly and technology costs have declined.

Those fees topped $20 billion last year, according to industry reports.

via NY Times