Fed Unveils Swipe-Fee Plan

Published on June 29, 2011
by Maya Jackson Randall and Victoria McGrane

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday unveiled a more moderate plan to curb the debit-card “interchange” fees banks charge retailers, proposing a base fee of 21 cents that’s far less restrictive than a draft proposal that outraged the banking industry.

The Fed proposal, being considered at a meeting Wednesday afternoon, gives banks and credit unions much more flexibility in how much they can charge merchants.

Interchange or “swipe” fees are what banks charge merchants every time a customer uses plastic to pay for a purchase; the consumer doesn’t pay them directly.

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