On Tuesday, the National Retail Federation (NRF) expressed disappointment at the U.S. Supreme Court for not reviewing an appellate court ruling on whether the Federal Reserve (Fed) set a 2011 cap on debit card swipe fees higher than the level sought by Congress in legislation passed the year before.
The court turned down a petition filed last August by the NRF, along with trade groups representing department stores, convenience stores, and more.
Under the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection and Wall Street Reform Act of 2010, the Fed was required to adopt regulations that would result in debit swipe fees that were reasonable and proportional to the actual cost of processing a transaction. Fed staff calculated the average incremental cost at 4 cents per transaction, and initially proposed a cap no higher than 12 cents; however, the Fed board of governors eventually settled on 21 cents.
The NRF argued that the 21-cent figure included costs that went beyond those allowed under the legislation. In July 2013, Judge Richard Leon ruled in the NRF’s favor, but the Fed appealed, and last March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned Leon’s ruling.