NRF and West Virginia Retailers Association Air Radio Ads Urging Rockefeller and Manchin to Support Swipe Fee Reform by EON


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									NRF and West Virginia Retailers Association Air
Radio Ads Urging Rockefeller and Manchin to
Support Swipe Fee Reform
May 31, 2011 03:31 PM Eastern Daylight Time 

WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The National Retail Federation and the West Virginia Retailers
Association today announced the launch of a radio advertising campaign urging Senators John Rockefeller and Joe
Manchin to oppose efforts to delay a new federal law that would save retailers and consumers more than $1 billion a
month by lowering “swipe” fees banks charge to process debit card transactions.

“Senators Rockefeller and Manchin have been champions of West Virginia’s consumers and retail merchants,” an
announcer says in the new radio ad. “That’s important because now there’s even a bigger fight in Washington over
swipe fees, and West Virginia’s consumers and retail merchants need Senators Rockefeller and Manchin’s help even

“Americans pay the highest swipe fees in the world, three times more than any other country,” the ad says. “It’s your
money the big banks are swiping. Call Senators Rockefeller and Manchin … and tell them don’t delay swipe fee
reform. Tell them we need swipe fee reform now.” 

The one-minute ads are running on stations across West Virginia this week as part of NRF’s nationwide 60-day
lobbying, grassroots and media campaign aimed at ensuring that swipe fee reform passed by Congress last year goes
into effect as scheduled on July 21. A provision in the 2010 Wall Street reform bill will reduce the fees by an
estimated 70 percent, saving about $14 billion a year that retailers plan to pass along to customers through discounts
or other benefits, but the banking industry is spending millions of dollars to delay reform.

“Congress concluded last year that swipe fees have been driving up prices for consumers by far too much for far too
long,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Now that Congress has done something about these fees,
retailers are ready to pass the savings along to customers through lower prices and higher value. We want to make
sure swipe fee reform takes effect as planned, and consumers get to enjoy those new benefits as soon as possible.” 

“We want our senators to know how important swipe fee reform is to Main Street businesses and consumers,” West
Virginia Retailers Association President Bridget Lambert said. “These fees are driving up prices for West Virginia
citizens at a time when the economy is still recovering. West Virginia doesn’t want swipe fee reform delayed.” 

Rockefeller, a Democrat, voted in favor of swipe fee reform when the Wall Street reform bill was considered in
Congress last year. Manchin, also a Democrat and West Virginia’s former governor, is a first-term senator and had
not been elected when the vote took place.

Legislation introduced in March by Senator Jon Tester, D-Mont., would delay implementation of swipe fee reform
by two years and require a new government study of the issue. Earlier this month, Tester said he would modify the
bill to seek a 15-month delay, including a six-month study, six months for the Federal Reserve to draft new
regulations replacing those proposed in December, and three months to prepare for implementation.

Banks’ call for further study comes despite the fact that Congress held seven hearings and ordered two Government
Accountability Office studies before passing reform. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has testified before
Congress that he has all the information he needs to prepare final regulations on schedule with no need for delay.
Swipe fees, officially known as interchange fees, are a charge averaging 1-2 percent for debit cards and 2-3 percent
for credit cards taken by banks each time a card is used to pay for a purchase. The fees have tripled over the past
decade to about $50 billion a year, and drive up prices paid by consumers by an estimated $427 for the average
household. Debit cards account for about $20 billion of the total.

Congress has yet to deal with credit card swipe fees but included swipe fee reform for debit cards in last year’s Wall
Street bill. Regulations proposed by the Federal Reserve to implement the provision would lower debit card swipe
fees from their current 1 to 2 percent of each transaction to a flat fee of no more than 12 cents per transaction for
large banks that adhere to fee schedules set by the card companies. Banks that set their own rates would be free to
charge any fee they believe the market would bear provided that they do so independently. Financial institutions with
less than $10 billion in assets are exempt.

As the world's largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF's global membership includes
retailers of all sizes, formats and channels of distribution as well as chain restaurants and industry partners from the
United States and more than 45 countries abroad. In the United States, NRF represents the breadth and diversity of 
an industry with more than 1.6 million American companies that employ nearly 25 million workers and generated
2010 sales of $2.4 trillion.

Listen to Radio Ad at

National Retail Federation
J. Craig Shearman, 202-626-8134

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