Debit Interchange Fees Fall 45% for Biggest Banks After Durbin

Debit-card interchange fees for the largest banks fell 45 percent in last year’s fourth quarter from 2009 as U.S. caps took effect, according to data compiled by the Federal Reserve.

Average interchange fees for so-called non-exempt issuers, or banks with more than $10 billion in assets, dropped to 24 cents on average during the quarter from 43 cents two years earlier, according to Fed data released today. The shift occurred as limits championed by U.S. Senator Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, took effect.

Average fees received by banks and credit unions with less than $10 billion in assets remained at 43 cents during the fourth quarter, the data show.

The Fed capped debit fees at 21 cents per swipe, plus 5 basis points of the total and a conditional 1 cent for fraud prevention. That replaced a formula that averaged 1.14 percent of the purchase price, or about 43 cents for the typical $38 debit-card transaction.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Scheer in New York at dscheer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net

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