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Consumers believe retailers aren’t passing on Durbin Amendment savings

A recent survey reveals that only seven percent of respondents believe a majority of retailers are passing savings from the Durbin Amendment on to consumers, and only six percent believe that retailers ever intended to do so.

“We shouldn’t be surprised. Congress gave giant retailers a handout with no guarantee that the savings would be given back to consumers,” Trish Wexler, a spokeswoman for the Electronic Payments Coalition, said. “The Durbin [Amendment] has been in effect for over four months, and these survey results go to show that retailers are simply lining their pockets with an extra $3 billion in profit. Consumers should be angry.”

Heartland Payment Systems, one of the largest merchant payment processors, said that its merchants have seen $91 million in savings, with more to come. Industry-wide, this represents $3.6 billion in savings, as mega retailers improve bottom lines by close to $3 billion.

These retailer savings come on the heels of Congress setting price controls on the oct retailers paid to accept debit cards. The legislation was justified, in part, because of retailers’ claims that consumers would benefit in the form of lower prices.

The survey by Ipsos Public Affairs, commissioned by the American Bankers Association, polled more than 1,000 Americans aged 18 and older.

Results from the survey are consistent with research conducted in December 2011, which found that 76 percent of retailers raised or maintained their prices.

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