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Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., slipped into the monstrous 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill a favor long sought by big-box retailers, such as Wal-Mart. The Durbin amendment, as it is known, imposed price controls on interchange fees for debit cards. Interchange fees are what banks and card issuers charge retailers for processing payments. Many consumers prefer to use cards instead of cash, so it’s advantageous for retailers to provide that as an option.
Inside the Beltway, a battle has been raging for close to a decade pitting retailers against America’s credit card companies, better known as Visa V -0.38%, MasterCard MA +0.00% and American Express AXP +1.43%. The fight has occurred on different fronts ranging from cyber-security to interchange fees, the fees retailers pay to allow customers to use credit cards. In 2010, with the enactment of the Dodd-Frank bill, which contained a retailer desired cap on debit card fees, many believed the retailers would declare victory and go home but it appears they are back seeking another bite at the crony capitalist apple.
If you’ve ever had a credit card number stolen, you know what a serious pain it can be. Losing a card to fraud can be the simple annoyance of your card being cancelled by the watchful credit card issuing company and having to wait for a new card to a full out identity theft which can cost thousands. How are cyber thieves stealing the card numbers? The main way for thieves to get your information comes from beaching the older large department stores’, or “Big Box Stores,” often-antiquated technology. A customer’s single biggest vulnerability for identity theft and credit card fraud is using your card at major retail stores that have repeatedly been breached by hackers. These stores use outdated kiosk computers to process sales. These retailers have allowed clever thieves to install viruses that silently relay customers’ credit card info back to them. This is how Target negligently lost … Continue reading
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), who was wrong about price controls on interchange fees on credit and debit card transactions fives years ago, now sides with the big box stores in pushing for ineffective “chip and pin” protections on credit and debit cards. Durbin is hardly an expert on these issues, but he surely is bought and paid for by retailers. While it’s claimed the lack of these features makes us vulnerable to fraud, the single biggest vulnerability is for identity theft and credit card fraud in your name: it’s using your card at major retail store that have repeatedly been breached by hackers. Contrary to what credit card security expert Durbin claims, more than chip and pin is needed to ensure security of our credit and debit cards. Using outdated kiosk computers to process sales, retailers have allowed clever thieves to install viruses that silently relay customers’ credit card info … Continue reading
Sen. Dick Durbin hates free markets but loves crony capitalism. Durbin has carried water for big box retailers for years and was successful in enacting a measure to force price-controls on interchange fees for credit cards — a measure that helped his friends in retail at the expense of consumers. Now Durbin is at it again, pushing a measure he argues will cut down on credit card fraud but is, in reality, nothing more than window dressing for the stores have provided hundreds of millions of credit card numbers to cyber thieves. It’s no secret that the retail stores have become juicy targets for crooks looking to steal credit card numbers. Target’s computer system was breached and 70 million credit card numbers were stolen in one feel swoop. Home Depot was responsible for 56 million credit cards being stolen. Rather than work with security experts and credit card companies, the … Continue reading
This week marks the fourth anniversary of the “Durbin amendment,” a defective law directing the Federal Reserve to impose price-controls on debit interchange fees. Slipped into the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill at the eleventh hour, the amendment has resulted in billions of dollars in revenue for merchants and not even a Slurpee of savings for consumers. Big-box retailers like Target, Walgreens, Home Depot, and Walmart promised Congress they would pass their savings — about $8 billion annually — to consumers in the form of lower prices. From the beginning, critics of the law, including consumer groups, predicted that retailers would pocket these savings instead.
The Great Recession devastated the American economy and disrupted the lives of millions of Americans who were laid off or lost their homes to foreclosure. In an effort to promote economic recovery and ward off another financial crisis, Congress passed legislation to reform the financial system and establish safeguards for American consumers. By many measures, the economy is now recovering, but a recent paper based on the congressional testimony of a law professor at George Mason University argues that the financial reform legislation is actually hampering economic growth. Todd Zywicki maintains in his recent paper summarizing testimony given to the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee that, five years after its enactment, the recession-responsive legislation is failing to achieve its goal of protecting consumers and investors. He contends that several pieces of financial reform legislation are increasing inflation, reducing consumer choice, and limiting millions of Americans’ access to credit. … Continue reading
When U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin persuaded Congress to cap the fees retailers pay for debit card processing, he promised the retailers would pass the savings on to consumers. Studies have shown they haven’t, and four years later, bankers and others say the Durbin amendment, passed as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, is an abject failure.
Four years later, the evidence against merchants continues to pile up. Four years of consumer research by Phoenix Marketing International (PMI) has found that consumers continue to say they are not seeing savings.
It’s no secret that innovation requires investment and commitment, especially when it comes to payment security. Consumers benefit most when all participants come together to achieve results. That is why credit unions and the financial services industry are committed to developing and investing in an electronic payments system that protects and benefits the millions of Americans who use it every day to make secure and convenient payments.