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Interchange Fee Agreement Reached

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Changes to the interchange fee amendment have been made. An agreement has been reached on the much-debated interchange fees amendment.

Modifications to the interchange fee amendment are expected to be presented to Congress on Tuesday, where they will be debated, according to Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin. The Senator's office expects that the final piece of legislation will be passed before the July 4 holiday.

Durbin said that he's "pleased that we were able to reach an agreement which makes modifications which strengthen consumer protections and bring competition to a market where there is none. We addressed specific concerns of states serving the unemployed and firms serving the unbanked."

Many states feared that interchange fees would unfairly affect the way they are able to dispense benefits to their residents that need monetary assistance. Credit card companies said that they would be forced to make up for those merchant costs by imposing more charges on consumers and government agencies that used them.

Interchange - or swipe - fees are imposed on merchants every time a credit or debit card is used to make a transaction. There is currently no regulation as to how much credit card companies can charge retailers to use their services.

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