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How does the Durbin Amendment Impact Payment Processing Rates?

The Durbin Amendment went into full effect in October of 2011. The idea of the amendment is to reduce the profits that big banks earn for debit card payment transactions and with it, reduce the cost to merchants for accepting debit card payments. Like any credit card payment, there are different interchange rates that apply to debit card transactions. However, since debit card transactions do not carry the risk level that credit card transactions do, the rates are less. The Durbin Amendment has imposed further restrictions to the interchange rates for debit card transactions.

Unfortunately, many merchants will not realize the benefit of lower debit card interchange rates since their card payment rates are lumped into tiers by their payment processor. A lowering of the wholesale interchange rates means their payment processor will pay less for debit card transaction processing, but the processor may not be passing any savings along to the merchant.

There are basically two ways for merchants to realize the benefits of lower debit card interchange rates:

  • A merchant account structured as an interchange pass through plan. Such plans automatically adjust to interchange rate fluctuations, such as those imposed by the Durbin Amendment.
  • A merchant account with a dedicated debit card or check card rate tier, that has been adjusted to reflect the lower debit interchange rates imposed by the Durbin Amendment.

All of our merchant clients are benefiting from the new reduced debit card interchange rates. Contact us for information about a merchant account plan that leverages the lower interchange rates imposed by the Durbin Amendment and reduces your payment processing costs for debit card and check card transactions.

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