Banks wanted to kept the billions of dollars they collect in debit card fees by delaying a law that curtails the fees merchants must pay to banks each time a debit card.
But that bill, which was banks’ last hope for relief before the law takes effect next month, failed to win enough votes to move forward. The bill failed despite the banks donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to political organizations and hiring dozens of lobbyists to drum up support.
According to experts, the bill’s failure escalated what has been an arcane debate about payment processing systems into an epic struggle between Wall Street and Main Street.
Senators called the bill’s failure a “historic moment.”
Meanwhile, retailers are also happy.
Retail trade groups such as the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association likened the fee, which averages 1 to 2 percent of the price of each transaction, to a hidden tax that drives up the cost for everyday goods and ate into the profits of small businesses.
Source: Washington Post, June 2011