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2011 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households

In June 2011, the FDIC sponsored the second National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households to collect data on the number of U.S. households that are unbanked and underbanked, their demographic characteristics, and their reasons for being unbanked and underbanked. It is hoped that these survey results will help better inform policymakers and the industry about economic inclusion issues, and promote the goal of ensuring that all Americans have access to basic, safe, and affordable bank services.

Pulse: Debit Issuer Study

The 2011 Debit Issuer Study, commissioned by PULSE, finds that small debit card issuers, including community banks and credit unions, on average expect a 73 percent decrease in debit interchange revenue as a result of pending interchange fee rules. While these issuers with less than $10 billion in assets are exempt from the regulations proposed by the Federal Reserve Board, they are critical of the interchange cap and skeptical that the exemption will be effective.

Moody’s Investor Service: New Debit Rules Hurt Banks and Reshape the Payment Processor Market

This report from Moody’s examines the effects of the Durbin amendment on banks and payment processors. The report speculates that Durbin amendment’s reform of debit interchange and routing practices hits banks the hardest and makes payment processing more competitive. Merchant acquirers and retailers are benefiting from the rule changes and there is substantial evidence that they will not pass savings along to consumers. Despite the blow to banks, Moody’s expect them to attempt to offset the lost revenue by raising fees for other products and cutting expenses, though this process will be difficult and the timing is unclear.

Card Hub: Interchange Fee Study

This study has been updated multiple times with new information as the Durbin Amendment made its way through Congress and ultimately took effect on October 1, 2011. On May 1, 2012 the Federal Reserve for the first time announced hard data on the law’s practical effect, and Card Hub’s 2012 Impact Study concluded that the law has ended up costing banks almost $8.4 billion on an annual basis ($8.06 billion for large banks and $329.4 million for small banks).

Gas Retailers Gained a $1 Billion Subsidy from Durbin Amendment

New data finds that gas retailers are saving a $1 billion annually at the expense of consumers, thanks to the so-called “Durbin amendment,” a provision of the Dodd-Frank legislation which capped what retailers pay to accept debit cards beginning in October 2011.  According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, nearly 134 billion gallons of gas were sold in 2011, with approximately 48 billion gallons purchased using debit – the type of payment impacted by the Durbin amendment, which reduced interchange rates by about 70 percent for this category.