The Federal Reserve recommended decreasing the costs banks can charge retailers for processing debit-card transactions on Wednesday,

A triumph for merchants who have long complained that these "swipe fees" were excessive and harmed customers.

The announcement on Wednesday might be a setback for large banks that issue credit cards,

As well as multinational credit-card giants Visa (V), Mastercard (MA), and American Express (AXP), which would lose revenue if these fees were reduced.

These fees, also known as interchange fees, are paid by retailers, supermarkets, convenience stores, petrol stations, and online merchants 

when customers use their debit cards to make purchases. The fees charged to merchants are pocketed by the banks that provide the cards.

Following the 2008 financial crisis, the Fed obtained additional control over these fees.

The Durbin amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 requested that the Fed cap these rates for banks with at least $10 billion in assets at a "reasonable and proportional" cost.

The regulator established the cap at $0.21 + 0.05% of the transaction amount in 2011.

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