National Automatic Merchandising Association Seeks Relief From Debit Card Swipe Fee Changes

The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) continues to meet with corporate and government officials to seek relief from the debit card "swipe fee" changes under the Durbin Amendment.

NAMA, in a recent update, reported it has been in contact with Bank of America Merchant Services (BAMS), Visa and MasterCard.

  • BAMS is working to protect the vending channel and ensure there is parity for within the industry and particularly for NAMA members. NAMA said BAMS can offer no promises but they believe the new rates will not stand in the present form.
    NAMA has asked BAMS to prepare a statement for members by early next week spelling out the exact impact of the new rates for vending, coffee service and foodservice as well as a statement of recommendations and current outlook.
  • BAMS has not increased its fees to NAMA members under the NAMA Cashless Program, but they are obligated to pass on the increases from the issuing banks, NAMA noted. BAMS is 49 percent owned by Bank of America but operates as a totally separate business entity.
  • A member of the NAMA board of directors has been in contact with the office of House Small Business Committee Chair Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., and has set an appointment later this month.
  • NAMA’s lobbyist is in process of contacting Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill.; Sen. Mark Steven Kirk, R-Ill.; Federal Reserve Board Chair Ben S. Bernanke and Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner asking for relief.


Editor’s Insight: This report from NAMA gives some reason for hope that the recently announced fee hikes will change.

Banks that issue credit and debit cards need to understand that these fees on small ticket purchase transactions will jeopardize a major source of future business for them. With the evolution of smart phones as payment tools, the opportunity for small ticket commerce will be immense. 10-11-11 By Elliot Maras