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In a major victory for UNITED STATE retailers, a federal court in Washington state has actually ruled that the Federal Reserve’s twenty-one cent cap on debit card swipe charges is too high for store owners to follow.
Debit card swipe costs have been a significant bone of contention in between huge banks and UNITED STATE merchants since caps on the charges were instituted throughout the monetary crisis. According to CNN Money, the typical pre-recession swipe charge was forty cents, however throughout the economic crisis the Federal Reserve capped charges at twenty-one cents in an effort to keep business operating as optimally as possible.
However, the twenty-one cent cap was still too high for the National Retail Federation, which filed a suit in federal court against the Federal Reserve in November of 2011. In a ruling that’s been highly anticipated by both retailers and customers, the court struck down the Fed’s maximum cost and suggested that it lower the swipe fee cap to twelve cents. It’s unlikely that the central bank will oppose the ruling, but the twelve-cent cap is still being debated.
What remains somewhat murky, though, is whether or not the reduction in the swipe cost cap will result in lower expenses for customers. When swipe fees were at first lowered during the economic downturn, the typical costs of the majority of items remained steady or enhanced.
The major loser in this ruling, though, is certainly the big banks, which can not charge business high charges for customers’ debit card acquisitions. When the swipe charge caps were introduced in 2011, many business monetary institutions saw decreases in income, a phenomena that numerous expect to be replicated when the swipe charge caps are minimized. It remains vague whether or not the banking sector will take legal action against the swipe charges.