NYT: Durbin Amendment Makes It ‘Likely’ Consumers Would See Lower Prices

June 7, 2010 

The “paper of record” recently threw its support behind merchants with its approval of the Durbin amendment that, if enacted into law, would limit swipe fees issuing banks can charge on debit card transactions. In an editorial published recently, The New York Times called the fees “troubling” and said “the amendment could save small businesses billions of dollars a year and make it likely that customers would see lower prices.” The amendment is part of the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010, passed by the Senate in May. The Times echoed arguments merchants have been making for years: Because the card networks control 80 percent of the market, they “can raise prices without fear of competition. And the fee schedules are so complicated and confusing that merchants often don’t know what the fees will be or how they are derived.”