The Durbin Amendment is set to go into affect in October and it could have some big ramifications for merchant account holders and merchant account providers alike. The Durbin Amendment was a last minute addition to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 and although there are many changes that will soon go into affect, it remains to be seen exactly how it will effect merchant account processing and the cost of conducting credit card services. However, many of the pros and cons of the changes for merchant account holders can already be seen but it won’t be completely evident until the amendment goes into affect in October.
In short, the Durbin Amendment caps debit interchange fees at $0.21 per transaction. However, fees could climb as high as $0.24 cents per transaction if the issuer implements certain fraud protection measures. The other main part of the amendment stipulates that merchants now have a choice in what debit network they process their transactions over. Before the amendment, many businesses could only process over the STAR network for their VISA transactions even if they preferred the PULSE or NYCE networks. The amendment gives businesses the freedom to choose between at least 2 networks which, if the amendment works as intended, should increase competition and drive down prices for merchant account holders which should save consumers money as well.
The amendment is designed to transfer wealth from financial institutions to merchant account processing companies because the fees that banks are allowed to charge will be reduced significantly. Currently, many fees are as high as 1.3% on debit card transactions.
“Issuing banks are still the ‘biggest losers,’ but not by as much as originally proposed. And merchants remain the winners, yet it’s highly unlikely most merchants will receive the benefit of the savings because of the acquirers’ pricing strategy,” said Gino Kauzlarich, President of MerchantService.com
So take advantage of the savings that the Durbin Amendment will provide, get your merchant account today!