The United States Supreme Court has denied certiorari leaving in place a ruling by the D.C. Circuit that a fee cap set by the Federal Reserve Bank at $.24 per transaction. Each time a customer swipes his or her debit card, a retailer is charged the fee.
Retailers complained when the Fed appeared to be abusing Congress’ mandate to create a ceiling on debit card swipes. The Fed originally proposed a $.12 cap, but retailers claim it was under pressure by bank lobbyists to double that amount and include fees and expenses that are not permitted under law.
The D.C. Circuit rejected that argument and determined the Fed’s interpretation of the law was reasonable. “The Fed rule doesn’t apply to credit cards, government-issued debit cards, prepaid cards or cards issued by banks and credit unions with assets under $10 billion.” Retailers vowed to “continue to press the issue in the courts over the ‘anti-consumer and anti-competitive practices of the card industry.'”