Briefing

Welfare Analysis of Debit Card Interchange Fee Regulation


Abstract: Merchants pay interchange fees to card issuers when they accept credit or debit cards as payment. Many merchants have complained that the fees far exceed issuers' costs for processing such transactions. In response to those complaints, Congress directed the Federal Reserve to impose a cap on debit card interchange fees. The cap lowered interchange fees for most merchants, but it yielded some unintended consequences. An analysis of the payment-card market suggests several factors to consider, in addition to issuer costs, when setting interchange fees to maximize social welfare.

Keywords: Electronic Payments; Financial Legislation; Payments;

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File(s): File format is application/pdf http://www.richmondfed.org/publications/research/economic_brief/2013/pdf/eb_13-10.pdf
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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Part of Series: Richmond Fed Economic Brief

Publication Date: 2013

Issue: Oct