Reform of debit-card swipe fees helped save U.S. merchants and consumers billions of dollars in 2012, according to a report released by the Merchant Payments Coalition (MPC). This was one of the objectives when Congress passed the law in 2010.
The average debit swipe fee, a charge that merchants pay to banks for processing a debit transaction, decreased to 24 cents per transaction from 48 cents after the reforms took effect in October 2011. This change generated nearly $6 billion in consumer savings. The reduced cost of swipe fees to merchants allowed them to lower prices, which reportedly increased consumer spending to support nearly 38,000 new jobs.
MPC Chairman Mallory Duncan, senior vice president and general counsel at the National Retail Federation, said, "Debit reform is helping consumers, and both consumers and the economy are big winners. Debit card swipe fees are eating up less of consumers’ purchasing power, and that has yielded significant savings."