Study: Many Online Merchants Unaware Debit Interchange Reductions Coming

Aug. 25, 2011

With the Federal Reserve’s rules implementing the debit interchange caps called for by the Durbin Amendment set to go into effect on Oct. 1, only one of around every six Web merchants that responded in a recent study have plans to steer customers toward debit cards. In a recent survey conducted by Internet Retailer, 17 percent of online retailers said they plan on taking steps such as “offering discounts and more prominently displaying debit card options on e-commerce sites.” According to the publication, the survey results suggest that many online retailers are still unaware their costs to accept debit card will be going down, and others are reluctant to influence how consumers pay. Nearly 40 percent of respondents said they didn’t even know debit card fees were going down. More than 43 percent said they have no plans to encourage more debit card spending on their sites. Some of the steering tactics online merchants cited are displaying the debit option more prominently (10.7 percent), telling consumers using debit rather than credit will keep prices low (8 percent), highlighting security policies to increase consumer confidence in using debit online (3.6 percent) or simply offering consumers who use debit a discount (1.8 percent).