US lawmakers have filed a bipartisan Bill to delay the introduction of interchange fee caps on debit card payments.
The Bill, filed by a bipartisan group of nine senators, calls for a two-year delay of the proposed Federal Reserve debit card rule. It includes provisions for a joint study by US regulatory agencies of the costs associated with debit transactions and the effect of the Fed's proposal on consumers, merchants and card issuers, as well as an examination of network exclusivity and routing provisions.
The move has been welcomed by US banks and card schemes, which have been waging a fierce battle to repeal the so-called Durbin Amendment to financial reform rules, which demanded a maximum 12 cents-per-transaction ceiling to be placed on debit-card fees.
Trish Wexler, spokeswoman for the Electronic Payments Coalition lobbying group, says: "The Durbin amendment was rushed through with literally no consideration as to the impact on consumers, community banks and credit unions, or our fragile economic recovery. This new legislation is a much needed 'time out' to make sure this rule won't end up changing the debit card as we know it today."