Addition to Dodd-Frank bill would ease debit fees for renters

A last-minute addition was made to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Financial Protection Reform Act that would allow apartment tenants to pay rent with debit cards, sources say.

The amendment, sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, would allow tenants to pay rental property management companies with debit cards for monthly rent. Additionally, these payments would be approved without extra fees attached.

"The impact to our industry of that legislation would be lower transfer fees for debit cards," David Cardwell, vice president of capital markets and technology with the National Multi Housing Council, told Multi-Housing News.

An advantage of the added legislation for apartment owners, according to the source, is that they would have to be less processing fees. The charges would drop from an average of $0.44 per transaction to $0.12.

Reports say the rule change should take effect July 21. The interchange fee reduction is also aimed to help general consumers with all debit card transactions.