Fed: Debit Interchange Fees Nearly Halved 

May 3, 2012

This week, the Federal Reserve Board released information showing how the Durbin Amendment capping debit interchange has affected the fees that payment card networks charge acquirers (and indirectly merchants) for debit transactions.

Aggregate data provided by the card networks indicated that the average interchange fee for all issuers before the rule took effect in October, 2011 was 43 cents. According to the Fed, data collected after the rule took effect show that the average interchange fee per transaction received by non-exempt issuers in the fourth quarter of 2011 declined substantially to 24 cents while the average interchange fee received by exempt issuers was 43 cents.

The Fed also noted the change in fees applied to signature debit vs. PIN debit differed substantially. The average interchange fee for a signature debit transaction fell 57 percent from 2009 to after the rule’s implementation in 2011 for issuers over $10 billion in assets and eight percent for exempt issuers. For PIN debit transactions, on the other hand, the average fee for non-exempt institutions declined only 1 percent and actually rose by 32 percent for exempt issuers.

The central bank plans to publish this information annually.