‘Swipe fees’ raise consumers’ costs

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‘Swipe fees’ raise consumers’ costs

Canton Repository – Swiping our debit or credit cards to pay for gas or other goods is a convenient payment method.

It’s costly, too.

Retailers and small businesses pay “swipe fees” to credit card companies and their banks on most credit or debit card sales, reducing profit margins. In return, consumers pay more for goods and services from these stores to make up the loss.

Tony Kenney, who is president of Speedway SuperAmerica, claimed Wednesday that these fees — also known as interchange fees — are one of the company’s highest expenses, second only to employee wages.

In an effort to help retailers, the U.S. Senate approved Friday — by a vote of 64 to 33 — a provision to regulate swipe fees on debit sales through the Federal Reserve. This provision was added into the finance reform legislation, which may come up for a final vote in the Senate later this week.

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