MONTPELIER, Vt. (4/19/10)--Testimony will begin Wednesday in the Vermont House Commerce Committee on a bill that would endanger how and where Vermont credit union members’ credit and debit cards are accepted, according to the Association of Vermont Credit Unions (AVCU). ACVU President Joe Bergeron issued an action alert to the state’s credit unions with talking points aimed at helping legislators understand the consequences the bill would have for consumers and merchants (Newsline Express
April 16). “Credit unions need to explain to member of House Commerce why this bill is bad for Vermont consumers and the potentially seriously negative consequences it could have on the entire state economy,” he said. AVCU is urging credit union leaders across the state to make contact with House Commerce members. The bill, S. 138, is part of a national strategic effort that seeks passage of interchange control legislation, AVCU said. It would:
* Allow merchants to set minimum and maximum amounts for acceptance of debit and credit cards; * Forbid electronic payments system network processors from imposing penalties or requirements on the way merchants advertise, thus allowing merchants to add a surcharge for customers using a credit or debit card in the state; and * Require a state regulatory study, due Dec. 15, 2011, to determine the economic impact on banks, credit unions and consumers of prohibiting electronic networks from inhibiting merchants as to whose cards they can not accept.