Durbin Calls for Proposed Swipe Fee Increases to be Held Off

By Jeremy Coumbes on March 3, 2021 at 12:15pm

An Illinois Senator is calling for planned debit and credit card swiping fees to be held off.

U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and U.S. Representative Peter Welch of (D-Vt) sent a letter to the CEOs of Visa and Mastercard today urging the companies not to raise interchange fee rates during the COVID-190 pandemic.

According to this morning’s announcement, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that Visa and Mastercard are planning for swipe fee rate increases to proceed in April 2021, after delaying them for a year.

Durbin and Welch previously requested for the fee increase to be called off on March 26th of last year. In today’s letter, they say that “Raising [the] fees would undermine efforts to help the economy recover and further reduce Americans’ purchasing power.”

According to the announcement the lawmakers say these fee increases reportedly will apply to a variety of types of transactions, including online card payments made to restaurants and grocery stores that will hurt both consumers and small businesses just as increased vaccination efforts start to give Main Street businesses hope for a summer reopening.

Durbin and Welch go on to say in the letter, “We urge you to call off these planned fee increases. Our nation is still reeling from the ongoing pandemic. And your fee rates are more than high enough already.”