Click Here to Contact your Congressional Delegation Now!
by Jay Kruse, Chief Advocacy Officer
Next week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing focusing on interchange fees titled, “Excessive Swipe Fees and Barriers to Competition in the Credit and Debit Card Systems.” We believe this hearing could closely resemble a 2006 interchange hearing, which really kick-started Senator Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) efforts to regulate debit interchange. You may be wondering, why is this hearing taking place in the Judiciary Committee, considering this subject seems better fit for the Senate Banking Committee? There is a simple answer: Senator Durbin is the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and he hates interchange fees.
Consumers across the country rely on credit cards to make life happen, from paying for groceries and school supplies to covering emergency car repairs or medical expenses. Accepted nearly everywhere, credit cards offer robust security, fraud protection, and access to credit that may not otherwise be available. Interchange fees, which are only a fraction of a cent per dollar transacted, make this possible. Interchange keeps consumers, merchants, and financial institutions safe.
Interchange fees cover the cost of fraud detection, credit monitoring, and fraudulent purchase protection that make consumers and merchants whole when bad actors attack.
The robust security features that make credit cards so appealing to consumers come at a cost. Interchange fees cover those costs but increasing fraud and the possibility of reduced interchange fees pose a real threat to data security.
We are very concerned that this hearing will not explore the impact of interchange regulation on credit unions (and other small financial institutions), and that we are vulnerable if members of the committee do not understand that the impact of regulation doesn’t stop at Visa and MasterCard.
We believe now is the time to engage our Dakotas’ congressional delegation. While none of our Delegation sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, we do have two prominent members of the Senate Banking Committee in Senators Rounds (R-SD) and Cramer (R-ND), that need to continue to hear our concerns along with Senators Thune(R-SD) and Hoeven (R-ND). Later today you will likely receive multiple Action Alert emails, from CUNA and DakCU, reinforcing the importance of this significant Action Alert. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Click Here to Contact your Congressional Delegation Now
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