ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (5/11/11)--The interchange proposal will ultimately cost consumers more money, the opposite of what Congress hoped to achieve with the law, a representative from the Credit Union Association of New Mexico recently told the Albuquerque Journal. Although none of New Mexico’s 49 member-owned credit unions come close to the $10 billion in assets that the proposal technically exempts, credit unions are concerned that large processors will implement a single-fee structure that doesn’t differentiate between large and small financial institutions, Sylvia Lyon, president of the association, told the Journal (May 8). Lyon and Jerry Walker, president of New Mexico’s Independent Community Bankers Association, estimated the proposal would reduce fees credit unions collect for debit card use by 70% to 80%. The revenue shortfall will have to be made up somewhere, Lyon said, and that is likely to happen through new fees for debit cards for members. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) opposes a proposal in Congress capping interchange fees and has told federal lawmakers that such action would harm consumers by driving up costs of debit cards, limiting consumer options, and harming competition and technological innovation. Interchange fees allow business costs, including the risk of consumer nonpayment, to be shared by the payments participants, CUNA said.