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NAMA press release about debit/swipe fees

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Here it is:

Date: October 1, 2011

To: All NAMA Members

From: COO Dan Mathews, Chairman Brad Ellis & the NAMA Board of Directors


The “Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Legislation” was enacted to bring fundamental changes to the U.S. financial system after the last financial crisis affecting the banking industry. The added “Durbin Amendment” required a limit on “swipe fees” that VISA, MasterCard and others can charge for debit card transactions.

Effective today, October 1, 2011 major changes will cut average debit card swipe fees by approximately 45%. Although this will be beneficial for large ticket transactions there is an adverse impact on the vending industry due to our typical “small ticket transactions”. This new cap could as much as triple the net “swipe fee” for small transactions (gateway provider contracts vary from operator to operator therefore the impact on rates will vary).

Card Companies/Banks now have the option to charge up to $.21 per transaction plus an additional .05% of the transaction to mitigate fraud losses and $.01 for fraud protection. The situation is changing every day so contact your provider directly to ask how the new rate caps will impact your business.

What you can do:

Immediately contact your Congressional Representative and Senator to educate them on the adverse reaction this will have on your business, your customers and jobs. There are over 10,000 vending companies in the USA serving millions of consumers everyday. Cost increases will have to be passed onto consumers or debit card acceptance will be suspended

Ask your provider to negotiate directly with VISA/MC on your behalf

What NAMA is doing:

Actively engaged in exploring options for lessening/eliminating the adverse impact of the new debit card “swipe fee” cap

Lobbying members of the Small Business Committee in the US House of representatives

Mobilizing a grassroots effort to educate politicians on the adverse and clearly unintended consequences of this new law

Using NAMA “Action Alerts” to communicate to our membership and provide appropriate talking points

Directly and indirectly negotiating with VISA/MasterCard

Adding a new link on the NAMA website to provide up-to-date information

Thank you.

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What do people think is the right next step for vending operators?

If an operator is seeing one of his/her machines making about 20-40% of their sales from credit/debit cards they'll still be willing to pay more to the debit/credit card processing companies to get those sales.

Is the right step to just raise prices in the machine with the credit card reader to match the slight uptick in debit card processing fees? Operators could just raise prices and inform customers that prices have increased due to the hike in debit card processing fees.

Also, this doesn't just affect vending operators. It affects much bigger places like Starbucks, Fast food restaurants, etc. that are making $millions in revenue everyday from these small ticket purchases.

What do you all think we can do as independent vending operators? Contact congress?

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