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Merchants disappointed with Durbin Amendment savings

Merchants are receiving their first bills since the Durbin Amendment went into effect and many say they are disappointed with how much they continue to owe banks and credit card issuers.

Some business owners claim that they owe more now than they have before, according to WSJ.com.

The savings that merchants looked forward to have been offset by higher charges for small-ticket purchases. Once the rule was implemented, major credit card companies eliminated discounts that they had previously offered for smaller items.

Another reason for the high interchange bills is that certain companies that process transactions on behalf of merchants have raised some fees without passing the lower rates now charged by banks to the merchants, WSJ.com reports.

The nation's biggest merchants, including Wal-Mart and Home Depot, were expected to see the most savings with the Durbin Amendment. The larger companies, however, have not yet commented on the impact on their bottom lines.

"What's now becoming clear is that the winners are few and far between, as gains for some of even the very largest retailers seem illusive," Tony Hayes, who specializes in the payments industry at consulting firm Oliver Wyman, said, according to WSJ.com.

On Tuesday, the National Retail Federation and other merchant groups filed a lawsuit against the Federal Reserve, challenging the way that it set new debit rates as instructed by the Durbin Amendment. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. district court in Washington, seeks to have the Fed recalculate the rates.

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