FTC Unveils Educational Materials for Small Businesses Explaining New Electronic Payment Rules

Provisions Take Effect Oct. 1, Will Lower Some Merchants Costs

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For businesses that accept payment by credit or debit card, some new rules of the road are going into effect on October 1 that may help lower their cost of doing business. The Federal Trade Commission, one of the federal agencies enforcing the new rules, is publishing new materials explaining what’s in the rules and how they will affect merchants.

The rules, issued by the Federal Reserve Board as required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, include provisions that:

  • cap debit card interchange fees paid by merchants to debit card issuers each time a customers pays with a debit card;
  • give merchants options for routing electronic debit transactions over any network that is enabled to process them;
  • prevent payment card networks and card issuers from designating an exclusive network for processing debit transactions; and
  • prevent payment card networks from imposing restrictions on merchants’ ability to offer customers discounts for using certain methods of payment.

Merchants can contact the FTC if they have questions about the rules, or complaints or comments about how financial institutions are implementing them. Agencies responsible for enforcing the rules, in addition to the FTC, are the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the National Credit Union Administration.


Contact Information

Peter Kaplan
Office of Public Affairs