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The North Dakota Retail Association and the North Dakota Petroleum Marketers Association’ have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, calling for a lowering of interchange fees charged by banks for debit card transactions.

This is the second time the groups have sued the Federal Reserve on this issue;  they won a 2011 case, though the decision was overturned on appeal.

FMI–The Food Industry Association released a statement from its vice president, Political Affairs, Hannah Walker, supporting the suit:

“FMI was an original plaintiff in a November 2011 lawsuit against the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and argued it set the regulated rate too high and did not meet the statutory requirement that it be reasonable and proportional to the issuer costs.  Now, almost a decade later, the issuer costs have continued to go down, but the regulated rate has stayed artificially and unjustifiably too high. FMI members pay some of the highest swipe fees in the industrialized world, and it is time for the Fed to provide the relief that was envisioned in the debit reform law.”

She continued, “Banks have - for years - exponentially profited off the artificially high and unchecked credit and debit card swipe fees merchants pay, and it’s the shopper who ultimately suffers. According to Nilson Report, processing fees paid by U.S. merchants to accept card payments totaled $116.4 billion in 2019, which is up 88% since 2009."