Debit card swipe fee caps

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Some people are taking swipes at the recently enacted caps on debit card swipe fees. Banks and retailers are in a battle, and consumers have felt the fallout. I’m Doug Whiteman with your Personal Finance Minute.

An amendment that took effect last October limits the fees that banks charge stores to process the transaction when you swipe your debit card to pay for something. Banks want the caps repealed, while retailers want lower limits.

While the two sides fight it out, experts say consumers can look for trickle-down effects from the caps now in place. They include higher checking account fees and minimum balance requirements, no return of dead debit card rewards programs, little or no price savings at restaurants, shops or other retailers unhappy about paying the current swipe fees, and retailer price increases on small-ticket items. For example, movie kiosk company Redbox announced a price increase of 20 cents for most daily rentals soon after the swipe fee cap took effect. The company said the increase was a result of rising operational costs, including debit card fees.

For more on what debit card fees are costing you, visit Bankrate. com. I’m Doug Whiteman.