Debit Card Costs May be Put on the Consumer: Don’t Make Us Pay

| By:

Originally published on February 18, 2011.

Back on December 17th, 2010, we published an article outlining the alarming terms of Debit Card Fee Reform. If you haven’t read up on what’s happened, the Federal Reserve has imposed a pricing cap on the cost a retailer pays to do debit card transactions. It’s scheduled to go into effect in July, 2011. The cap is so severe, that it would no longer be financially viable for banks to continue issuing them.

There is of course one solution that would allow banks to continue debit processing and that’s to push the transaction costs to the other party involved, the consumer. This would mean that as a result of the Wall Street Reform Act, consumers will be paying more than ever. How’s that for unintended consequences!

Some people aren’t happy so we’ll cut to the chase and let you know that we found a special gem of an organization, This website is providing users with up to date information on the new debit card reform law, as well as the proper tools to speak out to politicians. They provide a prewritten letter and automatically address it to the U.S. Senators and Representatives in your state. The full language of it is below:

As your constituent, I am writing to urge you to stop the debit card interchange rule before it harms debit card users like me.

The only beneficiaries of this harmful rule are retailers, who will take home an additional $14 billion in profits – and consumers will be left to deal with the consequences. The rule does not require that retailers pass along even one penny of their savings to customers. Meanwhile, banks, forced to lose money on debit interchange transactions, will be forced to compensate by increasing fees for deposit customers.

The fact is that retailers receive tremendous benefits when they accept debit cards for payment, including higher sales, lower costs and guaranteed payment. That’s why millions of retailers have chosen to accept debit cards – and that number is growing.

In effect, consumers like me will end up paying for a payments system that provides retailers with extraordinary value.

I don’t want to be forced to pay higher fees, give up my rewards, and lose my free checking account – just so retailers can have an extra $14 billion in profits.

Congress should be in the business of protecting consumers, not forcing us to pay for the costs of giant retailers.

Please repeal this harmful rule before it’s too late.”

We are of course in favor of small business, but it is unlikely that they will reap the supposed benefits either. This is a lose-lose-lose-lose deal. (I think we forgot another ‘lose’ or two). If you’re in favor, sign the letter!

We’ll keep you updated on the developments of this law.


Image Copyrighted by: 123RF

Last modified: February 21, 2013
Sean Murray

Category: Debit Cards, Merchant Processing, MPR Authored

Home Debit Cards, Merchant Processing, MPR Authored › Debit Card Costs May be Put on the Consumer: Don’t Make Us Pay