"[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) issued the following statement after the Senate approved his amendment to help reduce the swipe fees that small businesses pay on every credit and debit card sale by a bipartisan vote of 64-33:
“Wall Street reform is really about two things: holding the big banks accountable for how they operate and empowering consumers to make good financial choices. Passage of this amendment is a win for the public on both fronts.Passage of this measure gives small businesses and their customers a real chance in the fight against the outrageously high “swipe fees” charged by Visa and MasterCard. 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.
By requiring debit card fees to be reasonable, and by cleaning up Visa’s and MasterCard’s worst abuses, small businesses and their customers will be able to keep more of their own money. Making sure small businesses can grow and prosper is vital to putting our country back on solid economic footing.”
Swipe fees are supposedly charged by Visa and MasterCard in order to cover the cost of processing a credit or debit card transaction. However, Visa and MasterCard continue to raise swipe fees even though processing costs have decreased. High swipe fees are yet another way that banks and credit card companies hurt small businesses by charging fees that cut into already tight profit margins.
An estimated $48 billion in swipe fees were charged by credit and debit card networks in 2008 – this money came out of the bottom line of small businesses and merchants across America, and 80 percent of this money went to just ten large banks. "
What does all that pandering nonsense really mean to us the consumer? Because, you know, he's totally against those ten big bad banks! Although he certainly likes those big bad bank's money, raking in 650k in campaign contributions from the finance & Banking industry over just the last 5 years...
Dick's 5 favorite industries (no surprise really) from https://opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00004981
Top 5 Industries, 2005-2010, Campaign Cmte
|Securities & Investment||$654,562||$561,062||$93,500|
So yeah... basically it means Credit Card companies and Big banks are going to continue to figure ways around this law to remain profitable and continue to be "mean" to small businesses. I mean seriously what is the big fucking deal, Visa and Mastercard are creating an enormous convenience for these small businesses, (have you ever tried to do accounting for a mostly cash business?) and the only thing this is going to do is encourage the use of credit cards even more, and encourage cash (or tax free) transactions from the general public.
What was so wrong with debit cards that these small businesses were going out of business? If the fees were so severe to these small businesses, then they didn't have to use them, they could choose to do cash or only accept certain credit cards and let the free market work this out... but in the name of fairness and the fact that most government agencies have to take debit cards in addition to credit cards, in the name of fairness, this pointless and consumer killing legislation was born.
Thanks Dick, "Master of Unintended Consequences"! Did you really think banks would play nice with our money? I have a bridge for sale...
So the story ends with me expressing my juvenile frustration directly at the Dick. I wrote this letter directly to him today. (Yes this is a real letter I sent.)
Your fucking stupid ass bill made it so I can't receive points from using my debit card anymore. Now I have to prevent my inner American consumerist urges from spending money via our credit cards rather than having a simple life and paying for everything with cash.
This is because If I want points I have to use my credit card. I had a nice system set up where I would actually BENEFIT from using my debit card and no thanks to your stupid ass societal engineering I'm basically incapable of screwing the banks out of a hundred or so bucks a year.
Thanks a lot "master of unintended consequences".
Please do us all a favor and stop all this useless legislation. If the senate actually did NOTHING for 5 years I can't possibly imagine the economic progress we would make.
I'll be doing the world a favor and certainly NOT voting for you this next election. Assclown!
Have a nice St. Pattys day!