Operators of cashless vending machines and kiosks are scrambling to find relief from new debit-interchange rates, some of which are significantly higher than what they typically paid previously and may wipe out much of their profits, observers say.

New Federal Reserve rules that limit debit interchange to 21 cents plus a few cents to cover fraud and other costs for large issuers could triple transaction costs for many in the cashless unattended payments sector, which consists primarily of small-ticket transactions, Dan Mathews, executive director of the Chicago-based National Automatic Merchandising Association, tells PaymentsSource.

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