It’s almost been a month into the contentious Durbin Amendment—a rule conceived of to provide small businesses that accept debit cards savings—and now the numbers are in.
According to a new impact analysis released by Heartland Payment Systems, the fifth largest online payments processor in the United States, merchants across the United States of America have saved an average of $260.24 per $100,000 in debit card purchases they accept since the rule took effect. The data was collected between Oct. 1 and Oct. 16 across the credit card issuer’s portfolio of 250,000 merchants.
Heartland also did us the service of providing information on what those savings will be for merchants per $100,000 in accepted transactions on a state-by-state basis. Here’s a list of the top 10 states expected to receive savings as a result of the Durbin Amendment:
State Amount of Savings
Washington, D.C. $333.94
North Carolina $325.53
New Jersey $308.58
On the bottom end of the spectrum, the state that stands to save the least as a result of the rule is Montana, where merchants saved an average of $127.87 for every $100,000 in debit card transactions they processed.
Merchants Save, But Will Consumers?
Heartland’s most recent study is just one of several it has released since interchange fee regulations kicked in on Oct. 1. Under those rules, banks with assets of $10 billion or more can now only charge merchants that accept debit cards an average of 24 cents per transaction, down from an original 44 cents but more generous than the 12 cent cap originally proposed this past December.
Whether those merchants savings will amount to savings for consumers is still up in the air, though many feel it’s given banks the necessary fodder to begin drastically rolling back banking perks such as free checking and debit card rewards programs while also adding monthly debit card fees such as Bank of America’s recent move.
Still, if Heartland’s study results are reflective of what most credit card issuers are seeing, then small businesses should be in for a treat. Just days after the Durbin Amendment kicked it Heartland found that merchants in its portfolio had netted $1.8 million in savings in the three days after the rule officially took effect. Also noted by Heartland at the time is that merchants that accept small-ticket transactions of $11 or less would actually lose money due to both Visa and MasterCard’s decisions to eliminate small-ticket interchange rates.
In the first 11 days after the Durbin Amendment took effect, Heartland reported that it was able to pass along about $5.5 million in debit card reductions to merchants accepting debit cards across the United States. The company also noted that merchants can expect to save an average of $1,000 annually as a result of the amendment.