Welcome to My Cash-Only, Credit Card Minimums Nightmare
All Dick Durbin did was bring the San Francisco way of paying to the rest of America. Here, it's either cash or scrambling for extra items at the register to get to $10 (well, let's be honest, PBR and Camel Lights add up pretty easily so there isn't too much scrambling) and pulling out one's debit card is almost shameful. The only place you can really get away with flipping plastic is at the corner store (the one in YOUR neighborhood, don't get all fancy trying to pull it out at someone else's corner store) and the gas pump. Sure, Safeway doesn't mind but for the most part, it's cash only here tyvm and you can enjoy the same thing in your neck of the woods any day now.
It's for your own good and of course the banks and credit card companies would never EVER just pass along any burden or loss in profits to the lowly consumer, right?
Lawmakers voted 64-33 yesterday to approve the measure from Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, who seeks to ensure that debit-card interchange, or “swipe” fees, charged to merchants “are reasonable and proportional” to the cost of processing transactions. Payment networks Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc., which set interchange rates and pass the fees along to card- issuing banks, fell in extended trading.
“Passage of this measure gives small businesses and their customers a real chance in the fight against the outrageously high swipe fees,” Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said in a statement after the vote.
The amendment permits retailers to offer discounts for cash, checks or debit cards, or for a particular card brand, and would let merchants set minimums and maximums for credit-card purchases.
“It will prevent the giant credit-card companies from using anti-competitive practices, allow merchants to offer discounts to their customers and restore common sense and fairness to this broken system,” Durbin said in the statement.
The industry escaped previous attempts to regulate interchange on credit cards, which average about 2 percent per transaction, saying the fees are needed to compensate them for the risk of lending money. That argument isn’t relevant to interchange on debit cards, which tap funds held in consumer checking accounts.
There is no scenario that involves the government and money (that's yours and mine if you are playing along at home, America) that can turn out well and you can't undo the plastic habit. Too late, we've already gotten hooked on the "ease" and "convenience" of credit.
Not to mention what a close call this was for community banks.