WASHINGTON (9/18/09)--The Electronic Payment Coalition (EPC) on Thursday responded to merchant claims that the current interchange fee regime should be changed by reiterating its claim that customers would ultimately pay for any interchange alterations that would benefit retailers, The Washington Post reported. In a story published Sept. 17, EPC representative Trish Wexler said that while merchants “appreciate” the benefit and convenience of receiving payments via electronic means, some of the “more vocal” retailers do not want to pay for that benefit. “Who's going to pay? The customers,” Wexler added. The Merchants Payments Coalition today released a study which found that retailers in Europe, Canada and New Zealand generally pay lower interchange fees. A Credit Union National Association (CUNA) epresentative also has detailed her thoughts on interchange fees to congressional staffers, telling them that interchange fee income is vital if her credit union is to stay competitive and relevant. CUNA itself has also spoken out against interchange fee changes, saying that changes to the current interchange fee structure would grant merchants an antitrust advantage in negotiations with card issuers, networks, and other payment system participants. While legislation that would allow merchants to negotiate interchange fees has been introduced on both the House and Senate sides of Congress, this legislation is not expected to be brought up during the fall session.