WASHINGTON - Retailers celebrated on June 8 the one-year anniversary of a legislative victory that staved off efforts by Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Bob Corker (R-TN) that sought to dismantle the Durbin Amendment, noting that none of the amendment opponentsï¿½ï¿½ dire predictions have come true.
"[T]he facts are in and the outcome is clear; despite a flawed Federal Reserve rule, the reforms are working, consumers and merchants are feeling relief from Visa and MasterCardï¿½ï¿½s price fixing and community banks and credit unions across America are thriving," said the Merchants Payments Coalition in a statement.
The coalition said that the evidence to date shows consumers win from debit reform. Retail profit margins are actually down since debit reform took effect demonstrating that retailers arenï¿½ï¿½t keeping savings from reform. And merchants are experimenting with a variety of customer incentives to get consumers to use debit cards. These are all positive developments for consumersï¿½ï¿½ budgets and choices.
Also, last week, Montana retailers sent a letter to Tester, reminding him of the extraordinary relief they and their customers are enjoying from debit card relief.
"While we were at odds with your efforts to delay the Durbin Amendment, we want to make you aware that merchants are saving money and Montanaï¿½ï¿½s exempted banks are doing quite well," they wrote. "As the market continues to adapt to the reforms, the benefits will only grow, and as they do the wisdom of extending these reforms to credit cards will be irreproachable."