While reading this Wall Street Journal update about the new federal debit-card regulations that will set a price ceiling on debit card “swipe” fees, I’m left wondering what problem is this even attempting to solve?

From the article I gather that some folks in Congress think the current debit-card fees are too high and the market is not competitive enough.

But consumers don’t seem to mind.  They keep swiping away.  The consumers must feel the convenience offered by the cards outweigh the costs, otherwise they could choose any number of other payment options to avoid using the debit card.

I don’t recall there be any major problems caused by debit-card swipe fees.  Users are not forced to use them.  They do so voluntarily.  So why waste any of our government resources on the matter?

This is hubristic meddling at its finest.  It’ll be interesting to see what unintended consequences result.


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