After proposing a .12 cent debit fee, the Fed raised its proposed cap on interchange to 21 cents, plus 0.05 percent of the transaction amount and 1 cent to cover protecting against fraud. The Fed said it will allow banks to charge a maximum of 24 cents per transaction, on average. According to the Fed's December study, banks charge an average of 56 cents on debit card transactions that require a customer's signature for authorization, compared to 23 cents for the more secure PIN payments. Here's the Federal Reserve's Press Release:Release Date: June 29, 2011
For immediate release
The Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday issued a final rule establishing standards for debit card interchange fees and prohibiting network exclusivity arrangements and routing restrictions. This rule, Regulation II (Debit Card Interchange Fees and Routing), is required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Debit card interchange fees are established by payment card networks and ultimately paid by merchants to debit card issuers for each electronic debit transaction. As required by the statute, the final rule establishes standards for assessing whether debit card interchange fees received by debit card issuers are reasonable and proportional to the costs incurred by issuers for electronic debit transactions. Under the final rule, the maximum permissible interchange fee that an issuer may receive for an electronic debit transaction will be the sum of 21 cents per transaction and 5 basis points multiplied by the value of the transaction. This provision regarding debit card interchange fees is effective on October 1, 2011.
When combined with the maximum permissible interchange fee under the interchange fee standards, a covered issuer eligible for the fraud-prevention adjustment could receive an interchange fee of up to approximately 24 cents for the average debit card transaction, which is valued at $38.
In accordance with the statute, issuers that, together with their affiliates, have assets of less than $10 billion are exempt from the debit card interchange fee standards. To assist payment card networks in determining which of the issuers are subject to the debit card interchange fee standards, the Board plans to publish by mid-July and annually thereafter lists of institutions that are above and below the small issuer exemption asset threshold. Also, the Board plans to annually survey the networks and publish a list of the average interchange transaction fees each network provides to its covered and exempt issuers. This information should enable issuers, including small issuers, to more readily compare the interchange revenue they would receive from each network.
The final rule prohibits all issuers and networks from restricting the number of networks over which electronic debit transactions may be processed to less than two unaffiliated networks. The effective date for the network exclusivity prohibition is April 1, 2012, with respect to issuers, and October 1, 2011, with respect to payment card networks. Issuers of certain health-related and other benefit cards and general-use prepaid cards have a delayed effective date of April 1, 2013, or later in certain circumstances.
Issuers and networks are also prohibited from inhibiting a merchant's ability to direct the routing of the electronic debit transaction over any network that the issuer has enabled to process them. The merchant routing provisions are effective on October 1, 2011.
The Board's notices for the final rule and the interim final rule that will be published in theFederal Register are attached.
Statement by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke
Statement by Vice Chair Janet L. Yellen
Interim final rule (114 KB PDF)
Final rule (742 KB PDF)2009 Interchange Revenue, Covered Issuer Cost, and Covered Issuer and Merchant Fraud Loss Related to Debit Card Transactions (134 KB)
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2011 Banking and Consumer Regulatory Policy