WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation estimated that U.S. retailers and their customers are benefiting from savings of up to $18 million every day since the implementation of debit card swipe fee reform.
Reform measures that took effect on Oct. 1, 2011, reduced banks' debit card swipe revenue by $6.6 billion, according to a report issued by Javelin Strategy and Research. While some card processors have yet to pass the full reduction along to retailers, the figure comes to as much as $18 million a day nationwide. Prior to reform, debit card swipe fee cost retailers and consumers $22 billion a year in 2010, according to the Nilson Report, a newsletter that tracks the card industry.
"Merchants haven't necessarily labeled the savings from reform as a 'debit discount' but they have nonetheless found a variety of ways to pass the value along to their customers," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. "Depending on the store, shoppers are paying lower prices, getting better service or avoiding prices hikes that otherwise would have come with inflation. Retailers are simply too competitive not to share savings with consumers because customer value is one of the key ways they take market share away from their competitors. Retailers know that if they don't pass along the savings the store across the street will."