A new consumer survey from Visa Inc. has found that consumers oppose the most recent legislation to regulate debit card interchange when told the new rules might cost them more money.
The question of what to do about debit card interchange is on the legislative calendar as a conference committee made up of legislators from both chambers will debate how and whether to regulate debit card interchange as part of the financial reform bill. An amendment regulating debit interchange is part of the Senate measure but not part of the House.
The Visa survey found that 83% of consumers surveyed oppose a government imposed cap on debit card interchange "if it would likely result in debit cardholders paying fees for owning and using their debit cards."
Further, and perhaps significant for the legislators trying to pass overall financial reform, 75% of consumers surveyed said they would opposed the passage of a regulatory reform measure that would mean consumers would have to pay more to use their debit cards. The card brand reported that 59% of that 75% said they would strongly oppose such a law.
Visa reported that 60% of consumers surveyed said they believed retailers and not consumers should bear the cost of accepting credit and debit cards.
"Consumers are sending a very clear message to Congress: this amendment is wrong and amounts to nothing more than a government bailout of big retailers at the expense of hardworking Americans," said Bill Sheedy, Group Executive for The Americas, Visa Inc. "These same retailers have lobbied for more than a decade to force consumers to pay their reasonable cost of doing business and the American public clearly sees through this latest cynical effort."