We’re not sold on Big Box Retailers

Patrick Turiano |

March 15, 2011

Some people will say anything to get their way. Big Box Retailers are the latest to pull this stunt.

In a move to push the Fed to meet its April deadline and set a regulated rate for Interchange, Big Box Retailers are telling the Powers That Be in Washington that they’ll pass along any savings they receive from a change in the “swipe” fee to consumers.

We think they’re calling the public’s bluff.

Big Box Retailers, due to the high volume of credit and debit transactions they process, are well equipped to weather any changes to the fee. Target is exceptionally well positioned, as they own their own bank and therefore can issue their own cards.

Big Box Retailers claim any savings realized will be passed on to consumers, but will that really happen? Our thought is no. These stores will claim the rising cost of gas is causing a spike in the cost of shipping product, and will use the savings to defray operating costs. Consumers won’t see any savings, and might even see an increase in prices if in fact these retailers raise prices to combat the rise in gas.

The Fed has until mid-April to recommend a set rate on Interchange. The push is on in the nation’s capital by all interested parties to get their way. Many experts believe the Durbin Amendment will be repealed, but the latest twist is that some members of Capitol Hill are calling to delay the deadline by upward of two years to further study the legislation’s affect on the card and banking industries.

Big Box Retailers are putting on a good show, however, we’re not buying it.