WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- According to an Ipsos Public Affairs survey released today, only seven percent of respondents believe most retailers are passing their savings on to consumers now that the government has lowered the amount retailers pay to accept debit cards. Moreover, only six percent believe that retailers ever intended to pass on savings from lower debit card fees to consumers, the Electronic Payments Coalition announced.
The survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older was conducted January 14-15, 2012 by Ipsos Public Affairs, an independent market research firm. The survey was commissioned by the American Bankers Association.
Last year, Congress set price controls on the cost retailers pay to accept debit cards through the Durbin amendment. Congress justified the legislation, in part, because of retailers' claims that consumers would benefit in the form of lower prices.
"We shouldn't be surprised. Congress gave giant retailers a handout with no guarantee that the savings would be given back to consumers," said Trish Wexler, spokeswoman for the Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC). "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 over $2 billion in profit. Consumers should be angry."
According to Heartland Payment Systems, one of the largest merchant payment processing companies, their merchants have already seen $91 million (and counting) in savings. This translates to $2.28 billion saved industry wide, with giant retailers alone improving their bottom lines by $1.84 billion. More details available here.
These consumer views align with field research conducted in December 2011 that found 76 percent of retailers raised prices on products or kept them the same. The full report is available here.
About the Electronic Payments Coalition
The Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC) includes credit unions, banks, and payment card networks that move electronic payments quickly and securely between millions of merchants and millions of consumers across the globe. EPC's goal is to protect the value, innovation, convenience and competition in today's growing electronic payments system. EPC educates policymakers, consumers and the media on the system's role in economic growth, and the importance of protecting consumer choice and stability for the continued growth of global commerce.
SOURCE Electronic Payments Coalition