Local 7-Eleven Franchisee Urges Congressman Mike Bishop To Protect Debit Card Swipe Fee Reform For Small Business Owners

Most customers at 7-Eleven pay with a debit card. Little do they know, on each transaction, banks charge retailers, and ultimately consumers, a processing fee. One small business owner is taking a stand to oppose these fees and charges that are often harmful or, in some cases, detrimental to the success or failure of small businesses.

Ahead of the expected House vote on the Financial CHOICE Act, Rita Turner, a 7-Eleven franchisee in Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, met with Congressman Mike Bishop’s staff to discuss the importance of protecting debit card swipe fee reform for 7-Eleven franchisees, small business owners and consumers.

Before reform, the fees franchisees paid to banks for debit card transactions ballooned to one of the franchisee’s highest expenses. In 2010, Congress passed debit card swipe fee reform through the bipartisan Durbin Amendment in Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform. Since reform went into effect, the average swipe fee for a debit card transaction has gone from 43 cents to 22 cents. Putting these savings back into the economy has supported 37,000 jobs and helped 7-Eleven franchisees keep prices low and hire and retain employees. 

But now, some in Congress want to put the largest banks ahead of all small business retailers and repeal swipe fee reform. This would take 7-Eleven franchisees and other small business owners back to a time when the biggest banks could charge us as high of a rate as they wished on every debit card transaction.

“Small business owners like me are the backbone of 7-Eleven and our economy—we’re who you see when you walk into our stores and who keep the lights on, often 24-hours a day,” said Turner, a 7-Eleven owner and operator and Congressman Bishop’s constituent. “When I visited Congressman Bishop’s office in Washington I asked him to support our Main Street businesses and protect swipe fee reform. Swipe fee reform isn’t just about 7-Eleven franchisees like me but every Michigan small business that hires from within our neighborhoods and supports our communities.”

In Michigan, there are 210 7-Eleven stores. In Rep. Mike Bishop’s district, there are 9 stores, which employ approximately 90 employees. On a given day, there are, on average, 3,240 daily transactions. On an annual basis, these stores collectively save approximately $129,600 from swipe fee reform. 

In 2010, in an organized attempt to pass swipe fee reform, 7-Eleven franchisees gathered over 3 million signatures, one of the largest petition drives in history, and met with their Representatives to tell them how out of control swipe fees hurt their business. This week, they are back to call on Congress and send a clear message ahead of the House vote on CHOICE: protect small business by protecting the Durbin Amendment.

 

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