Retailers rejoiced Wednesday after an effort to derail reforms that will save retailers as much as $1 billion a year in debit card swipe fees fell short in the U.S. Senate.

The Tester-Corker amendment, which would have delayed swipe fee reform pending further review, received 54 votes, or six short of what was needed for approval by the U.S. Senate.
This is a landmark victory for American consumers that will give them the break from skyrocketing swipe fees that they have been seeking for years,” said Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the National Retail Federation following the Senate’s vote.
With the economy still trying to gain momentum and consumers facing skyrocketing costs for necessities like food and fuel, this badly needed reform will help ensure our nations economic recovery.  It will prevent more than a billion dollars a month from being pocketed by big banks and, in turn, allow retailers to hold down prices for consumers.

The vote clears the way for the Federal Reseve Board to implement as soon as July 21 the Durbin Amendment passed as part of last year’s financial service reform bill. Under its preliminary rules for the Durbin Amendment, the Fed would cap interchange fees banks could charge retailers every time they swipe a debit card at 7 to 12 cents per transaction, or 70 percent below current levels.

Congress came to the right conclusion last year-hidden swipe fees charged by big banks have driven up prices far too much for far too long,” said Shay. “The National Retail Federation and Americas retail merchants commend the Senate for standing by last years vote and for voting on the side of American consumers.