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News Now

Washington
Interchange fee reg changes opposed in CUNA ad
WASHINGTON (5/6/09)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) continued to oppose legislation that would potentially affect merchant-paid interchange fees by running a May 5 ad in the Washington Post. The ad, which will also appear at other times in select Washington-based publications, online media outlets, and some nationwide markets in the coming weeks, voices credit union opposition to any legislative action involving interchange fees. The credit card billing practices legislation, S. 414, the Credit
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Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD Act), currently calls for a General Accounting Office study of interchange. CUNA is concerned that a senator could offer an amendment that would substantially change the payment processing system and reduce the interchange that credit unions rely on to offer debit and credit cards to their members. Merchants could ask the government to intervene by capping the fees that payment networks charge merchants for each credit or debit card transaction. Such a move would enhance retailers’ profits while costing consumers an estimated $400 in additional annual expenses on a per-household basis, the CUNA ad said. CUNA believes that such legislation would also limit consumer options and would harm competition. Further, CUNA has said that allowing the government to interfere in what should be a free market issue would equally harm consumers, merchants and financial institutions. Other trade groups in the Electronic Payments Coalition, of which CUNA is a member, plan to run ads opposing any changes to the interchange fee regulations.


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