Today more than 180 merchant associations sent a joint letter to Capitol Hill urging members of Congress to protect debit reform and to reject language in the Financial Choice Act seeking to repeal it.

The letter stated: “Six years ago, American consumers and merchants earned a hard fought victory over escalating, uncontrollable fees with the inclusion of the debit reform measures in Dodd-Frank. These reforms brought a level of transparency (for the first time small businesses can see and know exactly how much they will be charged for a debit transaction from one of the covered institutions) and a level of competition into a market where fees were traditionally set collectively behind closed doors and without regard to the costs imposed on American consumers and retailers.”

The letter highlights the benefits of debit reform, which injected competition into the payments market, provided retailers with more transparency, and benefitted consumers who have experienced the savings. The merchant groups stated: “These savings have permitted merchants to reinvest in their businesses, which has supported tens of thousands more jobs and significant economic activity.”

Last week the House Financial Services Committee marked up and narrowly passed the Financial Choice Act (H.R. 5983) by a vote of 30-26 with bipartisan opposition. There was bipartisan opposition to the bill but only members of one party supported it. Merchants are aggressively opposing this legislation because it includes a repeal of debit reforms. The multitrade association letter follows another letter sent to Congress and signed by more than 400 retailers in early September.

You can voice your objections to the Financial Choice Act and any effort to repeal debit reform by clicking here to contact your member of Congress.