U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (W.Va.) today continued the fight on behalf of small businesses by co-sponsoring the Credit Card Interchange Fees Act of 2009 (H. R. 2382), a bill designed to crack down on fees paid by small businesses every time consumers pay with a credit or debit card.
"I am working for this bill because it saves small businesses and consumers alike, money, plain and simple-- credit card companies have been preying on small businesses for too long . This bill puts power back in the hands of small business owners and consumers," said Rahall. "The benefits of this bill include eliminating some credit and debit card fees, and creating greater transparency for Main Street."
The Credit Card Interchange Fees Act of 2009 amends existing law to prohibit certain credit and debit card fees for businesses and to eliminate requirements for a minimum number of transactions. It also seeks to protect business through more contract transparency and collecting information on fees charged by electronic payments on consumer-initiated transactions.
The legislation directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prescribe regulations ensuring that the rules, terms, and conditions that small businesses and consumers are subject to under an agreement with an electronic payment system are "fair and transparent," and in particular, require credit card companies make available to the business owner all of the rules, terms, and conditions to which the business owner is bound.
"This bi-partisan effort is critical to reducing hidden or unexpected fees on our local businesses when they are struggling to pay their bills, and pay their employees," said Rahall. "Transparency must be part of our business practices in this Nation and the improvements to transparency requirements for credit card payment systems will make a difference for small businesses in our communities."