Consumers’ Views of Durbin Amendment on 7th Anniversary Underscore Need to Repeal

Electronic Payments Coalition | October 1, 2018

More than half of voters feel they have not received a discount from retailers since the Durbin amendment went into effect seven years ago, despite retailers’ promises otherwise, according to new Morning Consult data. As such, a plurality of voters believes the amendment should be repealed if savings aren’t being passed along, consistent with consumers’ views in 2017.

“Year after year, retailers continue to harm consumers by failing to pass along promised savings—to the tune of six to eight billion dollars each year—while obstructing data security legislation establishing standards for all parts of the industry.,” said Jeff Tassey, chairman of the board of the Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC). “As we hit another unfortunate milestone with the Durbin amendment, it’s time retailers put their customers over profits in all areas of payments.”

The Durbin amendment, passed as part of the Dodd-Frank Act, placed price controls on interchange for debit card transactions. This nominal fee contributes to the cost of maintaining the complex electronic payments system, including processing and authorizing card payments. Since 2011, consumers have lost out on perks like free checking and debit card rewards in order to offset the price controls.

Moreover, a 2017 report from Javelin Strategy & Research found small merchants are more concerned about value, not price, when it comes to debit card interchange. A majority of small merchants were satisfied with what they pay and are even happier “when they are allowed to choose additional benefits even at a greater cost.”

“The electronic payments industry remains committed to providing consumers and businesses with many choices to pay and encourage retailers to do their part in adopting new technologies,” said Tassey. “As the industry continues to lead on creating secure, convenient ways to pay, we look forward to working with consumers to make the checkout process fit their needs. However, Congress must look out for consumers’ and merchants’ best interests and remove unnecessary government intervention—like the Durbin amendment—in the marketplace to ensure important innovation can take place.”

To view EPC’s infographic on the polling, click here.

Morning Consult, on behalf of the Electronic Payments Coalition, conducted an online survey of 1,979 registered voters from September 11-13, 2018. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of +/- 2 percent.

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