Since retailers managed to successfully lobby the government for a cap on debit card swipe fees in 2010, trade groups are now pushing for caps on credit card fees. Credit card swipe fees are determined by financial institutions, which are charging retailers exorbitant fees that force them to raise the price of their goods. The effect of the fees is reflected most obviously in the price of gas. Rising gas prices are a huge source of concern for many Americans who can’t support their household without transportation. A trade group representing convenience stores is now lobbying the government for a cap on credit card fees on gas to help ease the financial stress of both retailers and consumers alike.
The Wall Street reform law of 2010 was a huge victory for retailers, allowing them to keep more of their profits and make prices more affordable for customers. The law initially proposed a 12-cent limit on debit card swipe fees, which was a drastic change from the 44-cent average that existed at the time. Banks fought hard to repeal the law for many months, but it was upheld by Congress last summer when new regulations were put into place preventing banks from charging more than 24 cents per debit card swipe.
Though the new debit card fee regulations mark a huge success for retailers, fees charged for using a credit card account for the majority of swipe fees. A study conducted by the National Association of Convenience Stores shows that swipe fees add, on average, about 7 cents per gallon to the price of gas. The more gas a customer is buying, the higher the swipe fees are, and retailers have no choice but to charge these fees to customers to keep their profit margins up. The study reports that credit card swipe fees cost convenience stores $11.1 billion in 2011, which is a staggering 23 percent increase from the year before. Retailers are worried that the lack of regulations on credit card swipe fees will cause them to climb even higher in the future.
The fight is further complicated by the question of how much retailers will actually reduce their prices if regulations capping credit card swipe fees are actually passed. Groups lobbying for banks argue that these regulations will only benefit merchants, as the regulations on debit card swipe fees have yet to affect the price of goods. With the fight for credit card swipe fee regulations far from over, it is now more important than ever to make sure you have the best credit cards. At eCreditCards, we’ve compiled the best credit card offers from across the web so it’s easy for you to find one that will work for you. From low-interest to cash-back and rewards credit cards, at eCreditCards, you’ll find all the deals that will save you the most money on your everyday purchases.