In June, Mallory Duncan, SVP and general counsel for the National Retail Federation (NRF), announced the NRF and other merchants are organizing a petition to the Supreme Count regarding debit swipe fee limits. This is the latest development in the ongoing court battle of debit card interchange.
In 2011, a group of retailers sued the Federal Reserve Board over the 21-cent cap it set following the Durbin Amendment, arguing it was too high. At first, it seemed like they may be successful. Last July, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon struck down the Fed’s pricing and routing rules for debit card transactions, arguing the banking regulator misinterpreted federal law. But the Fed successfully appealed that ruling, and in March a U.S. Appeals Court reversed Judge Leon’s decision, reinstating the original cap.
The NRF’s petition, due by July 21, will have the backing of other merchant associations. These will include the National Association of Convenience Stores, the Food Marketing Institute, the National Restaurant Association, Miller Oil Co., and Boscov’s department store.
The NRF’s request for the Supreme Court to hear their petition could require the debit card interchange battle to continue for several more months, and possibly for another year or more. We’ll continue to update this blog as updates are available.