CHICAGO -- The National Automatic Merchandising Association issued a progress report on Oct. 10 in regard to debit card swipe fees. Dan Mathews, NAMA's interim CEO, reports that the association has taken several steps to seek relief for vending operators who accept debit cards.
Here's what Mathews said in a letter to NAMA's membership:
On Oct. 1, I sent you an email explaining the impact of the debit card "swipe fee" changes with a brief explanation of what you can do and what NAMA is doing on your behalf. Today, I want to give you an update as to our progress.
» We have been in direct contact at the highest levels with BAMS (Bank of Merchant Services), Visa and MasterCard asking for immediate relief.
» A member of our Board of Directors has been in contact with the office of House Small Business Committee Chair Rep. Sam Graves (R-6th-MO) and has set an appointment later this month.
» Our lobbyist is in process of contacting Illinois Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D); Illinois Sen. Mark Steven Kirk (R); Federal Reserve Board Chair Ben S. Bernanke; and Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner. Our lobbyist is asking fro relief for the vending industry.
» We have posted numerous articles on the NAMA website to keep you current like the link attached below.
» BAMS is working on our behalf to protect the vending channel and ensure there is parity for within the industry and particularly for NAMA members. They can offer no promises but they believe the new rates will not stand in the present form.
» We have asked BAMS to prepare a statement for delivery to our 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.
We realize you cannot profitably continue to accept debit cards under the current program. We also understand that industry progress in implementing cashless payment systems is going to be dramatically slowed if there is no relief.
As a point of clarification, BAMS has not increased their fees to NAMA members, but they are obligated to pass on the increases from the issuing banks. Also, BAMS is 49% owned by Bank of America, but they operate as a totally separate business entity.
Visit vending.org for updates
See NAMA Statement on New Debit Interchange Rates