Congressman Steve Israel Replies to Our Concerns About Debit Card Reform

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Originally published on February 22, 2011.

We recently wrote a letter to the Congressmen and Senators of New York State. It outlined our concerns about Debit Card Reform(Read more about that and our letter here) from the perspective of the consumer.

Congressman Steve Israel sent this response:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Federal Reserve Board’s proposed rule making on interchange fees for debit cards.

As you may know, as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that was signed into law during the last Congress, the Federal Reserve Board was tasked with studying and implementing rules regarding interchange fees on transactions using debit cards. The Federal Reserve Board was required to examine the issue and create a standard to ensure that debit card interchange fees received by a card issuer are reasonable and proportional to the true cost incurred by the financial institution for the transaction.

As the use of debit cards has increased throughout the country, many businesses believe that they are being charged excessive interchange fees on debit card transactions. This provision was included in the legislation to ensure that large financial institutions are not able to charge consumers excessive fees for debit card purchases.

According to the recently released 2010 Federal Reserve payment study, debit card use in the United States now exceeds all other forms of noncash payments and, by number of payments, represents approximately 35 percent of total noncash payments. Comments on the proposal are due by February 22, 2011.

Please be assured I will monitor this issue carefully as it develops.

Thank you again for contacting me.  Please do not hesitate to do so again on any matter of concern.  You can also visit my website ( to learn more about the issues important to you and to sign up for my e-mail updates.


                                                             STEVE ISRAEL

                                                             Member of Congress


Thanks Steve. Now don’t screw us all over!


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Last modified: September 28, 2013
Sean Murray

Category: Debit Cards, Merchant Processing

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