At one store, financial regulation is helping customers in a demonstrable way.
Home Depot has lowered the prices of more than 3,000 products after regulators started enforcing a cap on debit card swipe fees in October, American Banker reports. Home Depot's decision lends credence to the argument that retailers are likely to pass on the savings from the Durbin Amendent on to consumers.
"The money saved [by] Durbin goes into the pool of savings, lowers our overall operating costs, and allows us to reinvest in the business to lower prices," Dwaine Kimmet, Home Depot's treasurer and vice president of credit, said in an interview with American Banker. "We have absolutely lowered prices...[but] what I can't do is draw that direct correlation to Durbin."
Home Depot sells about 40,000 items in its stores, according to its website, so the 3,000 products that now have lower prices constitute 7.5 percent of Home Depot's products.
Clarification: This article has been updated to include Kimmet's full quote that was published in American Banker and the number of items that Home Depot sells in its stores.
The Durbin Amendment, which went into effect on October 1, cuts the maximum debit card swipe fee charged to retailers in half. Before the bill, retailers were paying an average of 44 cents for every debit card transaction. Now, the Federal Reserve is enforcing a limit of 21 cents per transaction and 0.05 percent of the transaction, as well as an extra penny for card issuers with fraud-prevention standards, according to Fox Business.
The banking industry has been charging new fees to try to make up for their lost revenue from the Durbin Amendment. Banks argue that the Durbin Amendment forces them to have no choice but to charge customers more fees, while retailers say that higher debit card swipe fees in the past forced them to raise prices above their true value.
Indeed, debit card swipe fees have made selling some products at a reasonable price just unprofitable for some retailers.
The next frontier appears to be credit card swipe fees. Credit card swipe fees have been adding about 7 cents per gallon to gas prices, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores.
Check out some other common bank fees and policies below:
Length Of Disclosures - 111 Pages
The average length of disclosures for checking account contracts is 111 pages.
Minimum Amount To Open Account - $100
The median amount required to start a checking account is $100.
Minimum Account Balance To Waive Fee - $2,500
The median account balance required to waive monthly checking fees is $2,500. 86 percent of banks waive monthly fees with a minimum combined account balance.
Banks That Waive Fee With Direct Deposit - 43 Percent
43 percent of banks waive monthly checking fees if the account has a direct deposit associated with it.
Other Banks ATM Fees - $2
Median non-proprietary bank ATM fees are $2 per transaction.
Non-Sufficient Funds Fee - $35
The median non-sufficient funds fee is $35 per item.
Returned Check Fee - $12
The median fee for returned checks is $12 per declined check written to the customer's account.
Stop Payment Fee - $29
The median stop payment fee is $29 per item to stop payment for up to six months.
Overdraft Penalty Fee - $35
The median overdraft penalty fee is $35 per item covered by bank advances.
Maximum Number Of Overdraft Fees In A Day - 4
The maximum number of overdraft penalty fees in one day for most banks is 4.
Extended Overdraft Penalty Fee - $25
The median extended overdraft fee is $25 for every 7 days the account is overdrawn.
Accounts That Can Reorder Debits/Credits - 52 Percent
52 percent of checking accounts reserve the right to post withdrawals before deposits. All banks reserve the right to reorder withdrawals.
Dispute Resolution Restrictions - 100 Percent
100 percent of banks restrict customers rights to settle legal disputes. 71 percent have mandatory arbitration agreements and 12 percent of banks allow customers to sue them but require that they pay any costs the bank incurs.