[Case Study] CardFellow Ensures Business Receives Durbin Savings

You get the experts on your side when you use CardFellow to find the best credit card processing service. Here’s a case where just this week we analyzed a credit card processing statement to uncover a little secret that their processor would rather have kept quite.

The complexity of credit card processing fees can make it difficult to spot a good deal even when it’s sitting right in front of you. We know that businesses will get quoted the lowest rates here at CardFellow, but it’s not always easily apparent.

That’s why we provide free analyses for anyone that asks comparing a business’s current processing statements to the best offer they receive through CardFellow. Not surprisingly, the quote through CardFellow produces significant savings 98% of the time (that’s an accurate figure).

Our analyses bring forth the various reasons why a business stands to save money, and very often, savings have little to do with actual rates. Instead, the pricing model and how that pricing model acts upon interchange fees is the primary driver behind savings.

That’s exactly what happened when a business with nine locations signed up at CardFellow and received competitive instant quotes. They sent processing statements along so that we could do a comparative analysis, and what we found was exactly what we warned about in this press release on the Durbin Amendment.

We found that the processor was charging the business on a tiered pricing model, and they were keeping most of the savings produced by the Durbin cap.

Take a look at the snippet below from the business’s credit card processing statement. The first thing we notice is the tiered pricing under “Plan Summary.” The qualified rate is 2.00% across the board, and then a vague non-qualified surcharge is added below in the “Fees” section.

What’s really interesting is that this processor has a fee credit called a “Check Card Rebate” under the “Fees” section. Check card rebates were possible prior to Durbin, but were rarely used. Now that businesses are hearing about the Durbin Amendment in the media, they expect to see lower fees for debit cards, and they want to see proof on their processing statement.

Durbin Amendment Debit

So, instead of switching businesses from lucrative tiered pricing to interchange plus that allows reduced Durbin fees to flow freely to merchants, some processors have started issuing a check card rebate to make it appear as though savings are being passed along. However, as we discovered for this business, the numbers often don’t add up.

This business received a check card rebate on $14,095.35 in volume over 103 transactions. So, we will conservatively assume that these figures represent total debit volume, and only about 60% of that is comprised of debit cards issued by regulated banks.


This means the processor charged their qualified discount fee of 2.00% plus a $0.25 transaction fee on $8,457.21 in volume over 62 transactions for a total charge of $184.64. They were then gracious enough (insert sarcasm) to issue a debit card rebate of $26.54 bringing the total down to $158.10.

We know the actual cost of a regulated debit transaction is 0.05% plus a $0.22 transaction fee, making the actual cost to process these transactions $17.87 ($14,095.35 * 0.05% + $0.22 *62).

Although it appears that this processor is issuing a credit on regulated debit transactions, they’re actually pocketing an estimated $140.13. Keeping in mind that this is just one statement from this business’s nine locations, CardFellow will save the company significantly each month on recouped Durbin savings alone.

Just in case you’re wondering, our analysis shows a conservative savings of 43% for this business.

2 thoughts on “[Case Study] CardFellow Ensures Business Receives Durbin Savings”


    Thanks for the information. I would like to learn more. I currently use Heartland as my processor and it states that they pass the Durbin savings to us. Thanks.

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