Federal Reserve Confirms: Consumers Could Pay for $16 Billion Retailer Windfall

Dec 16, 2010, 17:02 ET from Electronic Payments Coalition

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Electronic Payments Coalition issued the following statement in response to the Fed issuing its draft rule on debit interchange rates:

The Federal Reserve has been limited a rushed, politically-motivated action from Congress. The Federal Reserve acknowledged, both in today's meeting and in the staff memo to the Federal Reserve Board, that this government price fixing could result in significant additional fees on debit cardholders – with no guarantee that merchants will pass any savings to their customers.

With 81% of all debit card dollars being spent at the top 1.5% of retailers, these big box stores could reap upwards of $13 billion as a result of this proposed rule – money that will directly hit consumers in the form of higher costs to own and use a debit card. The changes forced by this rule will inject UNCERTAINTY into a growing system that serves tens of millions of Americans every day – and will threaten the core of our fragile economic recovery.

About Electronic Payments Coalition

The Electronic Payments Coalition is dedicated to protecting consumer value, choice, and competition in electronic payments systems. The coalition is a broad-based group of payment card networks, financial services companies, and financial services trade associations whose primary goal is to educate policy-makers, consumers, and the media about the value of electronic payments systems — including economic growth, convenience, speed, reliability, and security — and to ensure the continued growth of global commerce by promoting consumer choice and the stability of the vast payment networks that connect millions of consumers with millions of retailers each and every day.

SOURCE Electronic Payments Coalition