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Convenience Stores Fight 'Swipe Fees'

by Stephanie CrosbyLegislation that is due in conference committee next week on Capitol Hill has convenience stores rallying to support what they call ‘swipe fee reform’. Credit card companies and banks charge retailers a fee when their customers use credit or debit cards for their purchases. The merchants say the fees are hidden and unreasonable.Speedway SuperAmerica President Tony Kenney says the costs to his company have skyrocketed.“Credit and debit card swipe fees have now increased at double-digit annual compound growth rates over the past decade," says Kenney. "As a result, these fees now are our second-highest operating expense, second only to the salaries and wages we pay our nearly 18-thousand employees.”Speedway SuperAmerica operates 1,600 stores in 9 states, including Kentucky and Indiana. Kenney says they have over five-million signatures in support of the legislation.Credit card companies and banks that issue cards say the fees pay for a convenience that benefits merchants who don’t have to handle a lot of cash or offer in-store credit.