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Voters Agree: Get Government Out of Interchange, Repeal the Durbin Amendment


By a two-to-one margin, voters across party lines agree the Durbin amendment should be repealed, according to new survey data released by Morning Consult.

The Durbin amendment—a provision of the Dodd-Frank Act—put price controls on debit interchange fees, mandated burdensome routing provisions, and ultimately created the merchant markup. Six years after the policy was implemented, American voters of all political stripes say interchange should be left to businesses, not the government.

The survey showed that 58 percent of Independents, 52 percent of Republicans, and 44 percent of Democrats say the government should not be involved with setting interchange rates. The majority of all voters also think that the Durbin amendment is a price control: 60 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of Independents, and 53 percent of Democrats agree.

The Durbin amendment price controls created a windfall, or merchant markup, for big box retailers of $6-$8 billion annually. Retailers promised to pass on the savings—now totaling $42 billion—to consumers by lowering prices. However, two-in-three voters feel they have not received a discount at the register since the merchant markup was implemented in 2011. This is in line with data from the Richmond Federal Reserve, which found just one percent of retailers have lowered prices since then.

“Big box retailers have clearly broken their promises to consumers when it comes to the Durbin amendment,” said Molly Wilkinson, executive director of the Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC). “It is a failed policy of government mandated price controls that hurts consumers first and foremost, but also small businesses, community banks and credit unions.”

EPC supports legislation that repeals the Durbin amendment and encourages Congress to act swiftly on behalf of consumers and the financial institutions that serve them.

To view EPC’s infographic on the polling, click here.

Morning Consult, on behalf of the Electronic Payments Coalition, conducted an online survey of 1,992 registered voters from February 02-04, 2017. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of +/- 2%.

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