Slashed credit card fees could hurt issuers, but help with bill consolidation

Fees could drop for credit use as well In the wake of a successful amendment to the Senate’s financial reform bill that would cap debit card processing fees for issuers, Bloomberg News reports that credit card processing fees could be next.

The news agency cites a client note from Stifel, Nicolaus and Co. analyst Chris Brendler, which asserted that credit card interchange fees would be "inevitably next" on the list of card issues tackled by U.S. lawmakers.

Bloomberg News also says that Visa and MasterCard had previously been successful in derailing legislative attempts to regulate swipe fees, which are charged to merchants each time consumers use their cards to pay for goods or services.

Experts say that the cap on debit card swipe fees – and a possible similar limitation on those for credit cards – could help merchants reduce prices across the board, easing the financial burden on Americans whose finances took a turn for the worse during the recent recession. It could also allow those in particularly dire straits to afford debt counseling, should they need it.