WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC) today applauded the House Financial Services Committee’s passage of the Financial CHOICE Act, which includes the repeal of the Durbin amendment, Section 735. With today’s vote, Congress is one step closer to returning to the competitive, flexible free market and providing needed relief to consumers, small merchants, community banks, and credit unions.
“Today was a victory for consumers who were promised savings by retailers, but ultimately received nothing,” said Molly Wilkinson, executive director of EPC. “For more than six years, big box retailers have pocketed billions through the Durbin amendment with little regard for their customers, small merchants, and small financial institutions. EPC applauds the House Financial Services Committee for holding retailers accountable for their broken promises.”
Due to the amendment’s price controls, small businesses have lost flexibility within the market, which a new study from Javelin Strategy & Research found small merchants value over price. Another recent study, from the International Center for Law & Economics, noted consumers have faced higher banking fees and the elimination of benefits like debit card rewards, in addition to a lack of savings at the register. Plus, community banks and credit unions, which were meant to be “exempt” from the price controls provision, have seen their interchange revenues decline.
In a 2010 letter, 71 Democrats and 60 Republicans expressed “grave concerns” that the policy would “harm both consumers and the small financial institutions that help drive our economic recovery.” Seven years later, these “grave concerns” are now a reality, while big box retailers pocket $6-8 billion per year from these unfair mandates.
“It’s time to stop the handouts to big box retailers. Repealing the Durbin amendment is the right move for consumers, small businesses, and community financial institutions,” Wilkinson said. “EPC thanks Chairman Hensarling, Rep. Luetkemeyer, Rep. Budd, and other members of HFSC for their leadership in efforts to repeal the Durbin amendment.”
As Chairman Hensarling (R-TX) put in January, “Durbin is an important part of [the Financial CHOICE Act]. As a matter of principle, Republicans do not believe in price controls. I don’t think it has lived up to its billing.” EPC urges Congress to move forward in repealing the Durbin amendment.
To learn more about the Durbin amendment’s impacts, click here.
About the Electronic Payments Coalition
The Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC) is a coalition of payments industry stakeholders, such as credit unions, community banks, trade associations, payment card networks and banks that speaks on behalf of the payments industry to protect the value, innovation, convenience, security and competition that exists in the modern electronic payments system. The EPC educates policymakers, consumers and the media on the system’s role in economic growth and the importance of consumer choice, security, innovation and stability for the continued growth of global commerce.