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Dec. 2, 2015

Survey Results Suggest Effects of Durbin Regulation Have Been Limited and Uneven

Richmond, Va.

The recent regulatory cap on debit card interchange fees stems from the so-called Durbin Amendment of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. The amendment was designed to lower merchants’ costs of accepting debit cards by reducing the interchange fees that debit card networks charge merchants.

The Richmond Fed’s December Economic Brief highlights new merchant survey results that suggest the Durbin regulation has had limited and uneven impact on merchants’ costs of accepting debit cards. In some cases, merchants even reported higher costs.

The Economic Brief explores factors that complicate the regulation’s effects, while noting that the survey results should be interpreted with caution.

Read the full Economic Brief for December.

The Richmond Fed’s Economic Brief series provides web-exclusive essays on current economic issues and trends. Sign up to receive an email notification when a new essay is posted.


As part of our nation’s central bank, the Richmond Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks working together with the Board of Governors to support a healthy economy and deliver on our mission to foster economic stability and strength. We connect with community and business leaders across the Fifth Federal Reserve District — including the Carolinas, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and most of West Virginia — to monitor economic conditions, address issues facing our communities, and share this information with monetary and financial policymakers. We also work with banks to ensure they are operating safely and soundly, supply financial institutions with currency that’s fit for distribution, and provide a safe and efficient way to transfer funds through our nation’s payments system.

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