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CUNA urges CU action against interchange amendments
WASHINGTON (5/5/10)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) on Tuesday urged credit union advocates to contact their U.S. Senators and ask them to oppose amendments to financial regulatory reform legislation that would affect the debit and credit card system, Specifically, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) filed a number of amendments on Monday, two of which are opposed by credit unions. The first amendment would permit merchants to set a minimum or maximum transaction amount for payment by card, offer discounts for use of cash, check, debit card or stored-value card and offer discounts to customers to use a competing card network. That amendment is co-sponsored by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.). A separate amendment would direct the Federal Reserve to issue regulations to govern interchange fees charged for debit card transactions, to assure they are what the proposed language terms "reasonable and proportional" to the cost incurred in processing the transaction. According to CUNA, these amendments “are intended to disrupt the card payment system, with the goal of reducing the merchants’ financial responsibility for the benefits received from the card payment system.” In a release, CUNA said that it generally opposes “any amendment which would expand the scope of S. 3217, including new regulation of the card payment systems.” CUNA has provided a sample letter that can be sent to Senators, and hopes that this grassroots action will lead to at least 150 separate contacts with each Senator. (See related story: Reid pushes up timeline for reg reform vote.) For more on the CUNA action alert, use the resource link.
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