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News Now

Washington
Interchange ads launches by CUNA and partners
WASHINGTON (2/14/11)—The fight against the Federal Reserve’s proposed interchange changes will take to the airwaves this week in the nation’s capital as a 30-second television spot airs in the Washington, DC, television market. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is one main sponsor of the ad, which was developed by the Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC). Fellow EPC members the Independent Community Bankers of America, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, and the American Bankers Association have also sponsored the ad. The ad buy continues through March 4 in Washington, D.C. – which includes the week of the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference. Interchange will be a key issue during the conference. The Fed's interchange provisions could cap debit card interchange fees that are paid by merchants to card issuers at as little as seven cents per transaction. Issuers with under $10 billion in assets would be exempt from the interchange changes. The Fed proposal will remain open for public comment until Feb. 22, and, if approved, could come into effect after April of this year. The House Financial Services Committee’s Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee has scheduled an interchange hearing for Feb. 17, and several legislators have called for additional time to consider the impact interchange changes could have on financial markets and consumers. Frank Michael, President/CEO of Stockton, California's Allied CU, will appear on CUNA's behalf during that interchange hearing. (See related story: CUNA witness slated for interchange hearing) Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney recently urged the Fed to take the time needed to consider all interchange related costs, and set a reasonable interchange rate to avoid "unintended consequences" such as the elimination of debit card programs by credit unions. Credit unions may also be forced to impose new fees on members' debit accounts to keep their card programs afloat, Cheney added.


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