A new law that was supposed to reduce costs for merchants that accept debit cards has instead sent Mr. Scherr's monthly processing bills much higher and forced him to reassess the way he does business.
That's from an interesting Wall Street Journal article about an unintended consequence of the Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul legislation.Vendors used to pay on a sliding scale for debit-card transactions; Dodd-Frank set a flat fee, which can lead to higher payments on small transactions:
Many business owners who sell low-priced goods like coffee and candy bars now are paying higher rates — not lower — when their customers use debit cards for transactions that are less than roughly $10. ... "Overnight, the variable costs of a transaction have tripled," says Mr. English, who runs a marketing company that devises payment programs for vending machines. Some machine operators will raise prices and offer 25-cent discounts for cash starting in January, he says.