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The Associated Press reports that seven months after new rules went into effect limiting the amount of money that banks could charge as a fee when consumers swipe their debit cards, the Federal Reserve says that “the average fee paid by merchants for debit card transactions covered by the rule was 24 cents in the fourth quarter of 2011. That compares with an average of 43 cents before the Fed's rule took effect Oct. 1.”

As the story notes, “Before the Fed set its level last June, merchants had said that reduced fees would allow them to lower their prices for consumers. Banks, on the other hand, had warned that a limit on what they can charge retailers would force them to cut back on other services, such as free checking and rewards programs.”
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