RILA Survey Finds Voters Oppose Swipe Fees

RILASome 63% of Trump voters believe banks are taking advantage of retailers.

A survey conducted by Wilson Perkins Allen Research on behalf of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) found voters who cast a ballot in 2016 believe that banks are taking advantage of retailers and oppose the fees that merchants are charged every time a debit or credit card is swiped to make a purchase.

The poll, conducted by phone Nov. 20-22, 2016, surveyed the opinions of 803 voters nationwide.

Topline Findings:

76% of all voters believe that big banks got a bailout while millions of Americans were left to suffer.

63% of Trump voters (67% of all voters) believe that banks are taking advantage of retailers.

55% of all voters oppose swipe fees of any kind.

Wells Fargo, the bank that would benefit most from a repeal of debit swipe fee reform, is viewed negatively by nearly half of all voters (48%) and favorable by only 30% of all voters and just 37% of Trump voters.

“It comes as no surprise that Wall Street’s bad acts are not forgotten. Voters are clearly on the side of Main Street retailers, not big banks and the Visa/MasterCard duopoly,” said Austen Jensen, vice president for government affairs. “The well-established debit swipe fee reforms have brought competition into the debit card market for the first time, and retailers are prepared to do whatever is necessary to defeat any effort to roll back these important reforms.”

Swipe fee reform, also known as the Durbin Amendment, passed the Senate in 2010. Ever since, Visa, MasterCard and the big banks fought for repeal. The reforms require that the fees that banks and card networks charge every time a debit card is swiped are “reasonable and proportionate to the cost of processing the transaction.”

Prior to the passage of reforms, card networks utilized their overwhelming market power to raise fees at will. Even with reforms in place, swipe fees are estimated to cost merchants and consumers $50 billion every year.

Respondents were contacted by phone via a live telephone operator interview Nov. 20-22, 2016. The study has a sample size of n=803 li 2016 general election voters. The margin of error is equal to ±3.5% in 95 out of 100 cases.

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers and service suppliers.



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