Consumers Looking at Higher Fees for Debit Cards
A RetailWire poll in April asked if Congress should wait to implement the so-called Durbin amendment restricting what banks could charge for card transactions. Seventy-four percent of respondents said “no” while only 11 percent thought it was a wise approach.
At the time, banks and supporters argued that while implementing the law might reduce interchange fees, it would ultimately drive up many other costs for consumers. They also suggested that the savings promised by retailers would never materialize. According to the National Retail Federation, the average American household in 2008 paid $427 in credit/debit card interchange fees.
Now, according to the Los Angeles Times, banks are looking to cut out rewards programs or add fees to recoup the dollars they expect to lose with the new law. A banking industry consultant, Michael Moebs, told the paper that the change will mean consumers pay an average of $36 a year in direct fees from banks.
- Swipe Fee Battle Continues – RetailWire
- Consumers/Fight Swipe Fees Now – National Retail Federation
- Debit cards poised to get much more expensive – Los Angeles Times
Discussion Questions: Is there any danger of a backlash against retailers as bank fees rise? Should retailers make an effort to be transparent in communicating the savings that consumers will enjoy as a result of Congressional action?