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Visa, Mastercard shares drop due to anticipated fee cap proposal by Federal Reserve.

Visa and Mastercard Shares Slide on Expected Federal Reserve Fee Cap Proposal

Shares in Visa and Mastercard dip on potential fee cap

Shares in Visa and Mastercard have seen a decline as the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to propose lowering the fees that banks can charge retailers for processing debit-card transactions. The proposed fee cap has led to a 1% drop in the early trading of Visa and Mastercard shares. While Visa is yet to comment on the matter, a Mastercard spokesperson declined to provide any statement.

Fed plans to discuss changes to the debit interchange fee cap

The Federal Reserve has revealed that it will hold a meeting to discuss changes to the debit interchange fee cap. The details of the proposed changes have not been disclosed by the Fed. However, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Fed intends to lower the cap. The cap has been a contentious issue, with credit card providers and banks facing opposition from retailers who argue that the current “swipe fees” are too high and negatively impact consumers. The proposed changes are expected to spark a lobbying battle between the two industries.

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Retailers applaud potential fee reduction

Retailers have welcomed the anticipated move to reduce fees, expressing their belief that the current fees have been excessively high for an extended period. Stephanie Martz, the general counsel for the National Retail Federation, stated, “These fees have been too high for too long and we’re glad to see the Fed is finally ready to act.”

Background on the debit interchange fee cap

The debit interchange fee cap was established under the 2010 Dodd Frank financial reform law, which mandated that the fees be reasonable and proportional. In 2011, the Federal Reserve set the cap at 21 cents per transaction, plus 0.05% of the transaction cost. Banks have the option to charge an additional cent per transaction if they meet specific fraud prevention standards. However, retailers argue that the fees are still disproportionate to the actual cost of processing a transaction.

Future challenges for the Fed

The Federal Reserve faces the challenge of finding a balance that satisfies both merchants and regulated entities by reducing the cap enough to appease retailers without unduly penalizing the banks and credit card providers. Ian Katz, managing director of policy research firm Capital Alpha Partners, noted, “The Fed will be trying to thread the needle, reducing the cap enough to mollify the merchants without excessively punishing its own regulated entities.”

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With the proposed fee cap changes on the horizon, the future of debit-card transaction fees hangs in the balance. As the Federal Reserve prepares to discuss the potential alterations, the impact on Visa, Mastercard, and the broader financial landscape remains uncertain.

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