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US: Merchant group study finds Durbin does its job

 |  October 2, 2013

A study released by the Merchants Payments Coalition is good news for supporters of the Durbin Amendment, finding that the legislation saved $5.8 million for consumers through reduced debit card swipe fees.

The report by the MPC, which represents about 2.7 million retailers, suggests that the Durbin Amendment, passed by Congress in 2010 and went into effect in October 2011, has played a major role to boost the US economy.

Senior vice president of the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing Lyle Beckwith told reporters the legislation “has been a victory for both consumers and hundreds of thousands of American businesses.”

Conducted by Robert Shapiro of Sonecon LLC, the research found, among other points, that the average swipe fee dropped from 48 to 24 cents per transaction and that those savings supported 37,501 new jobs.

Despite the positive findings for consumers, the research also found that had the Durbin Amendment cut fees down to 12 cents, as originally intended by the Federal Reserve, an additional $2.79 billion would have been saved, plus $1.2 billion in merchant savings.

Swipe-fees are part of a major debate in the US as District Judge Richard Leon struck down last July an earlier ruling that capped swipe-fees on the basis that the Fed ignored Congress’ intended cap, to be lower than where the Durbin Amendment places the caps today.

The Fed, in turn, is appealing Judge Leon’s ruling.

Want to join the debate? Pymnts.com is hosting “The Durbin Amendment & the Regulation of the Debit Card Industry” on November 6, 2013. Click here for more information or to register.

Full Content: CSNews

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