by John Alexander, Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs
DakCU Embraces Halloween Festivities and Advocacy Initiatives
Happy Halloween week to all! “Just because I cannot see it, doesn't mean I can't believe it!” ~ Jack Skellington
While Halloween week is upon us, the North Dakota Credit Union Association (DakCU) community is busy with excitement over a series of upcoming events and the Advocacy and Awareness Agenda, including November Meetings with Senate Staffers, Visa and Mastercard Fee Increases, and a glimpse into DakCU's future.
A Dark Shadow Looms: Visa and Mastercard Fee Increases Impact Businesses and Consumers
Visa and Mastercard are poised to raise fees for stores and online shops, impacting consumers' online purchases. This article explores the potential cost increase for businesses and its subsequent impact on consumers. It delves into the reasons behind these fees and highlights the concerns of small businesses. It also touches on congressional efforts to address this issue and advises consumers to monitor their credit card statements.
In response to a recent Wall Street Journal article that erroneously linked Visa and Mastercard fee increases with interchange fees, the Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC) is taking swift action to address the inaccuracies. EPC chose not to participate in the article and is now intensifying its efforts to combat the misinformation. They emphasize that their strategy and message remain robust: the Big Box Bill is detrimental to both consumers and merchants, highlighting that cards benefit both parties. Furthermore, EPC stresses that interchange fees are a necessary cost of doing business and urges Congress not to double down on a flawed concept.
To counter the recent opposition efforts, EPC has initiated the creation of a video that will provide an in-depth explanation of the interchange process and the expenses covered by interchange fees, incorporating stories from credit unions and small businesses. This move, prompted by the WSJ story, is part of a larger tactical plan for 2023, which includes responding to the article, releasing state-level interchange research, running digital ads, and preparing for legislative attempts to attach interchange legislation to other bills. EPC is calling on credit unions and small businesses to share their experiences on how cards benefit their operations and is actively seeking support for their ongoing campaign to combat interchange fee-related legislation. With their comprehensive plan and unwavering confidence, EPC remains dedicated to defeating the legislation in the 118th Congress.
A Fateful Meeting: GAC Committee Discusses DakCU’s Future
The October 30, 2023, meeting minutes of the ND GAC brought together committee members and key figures, including Steve Davis, Jon Griffin, Paul Brucker, Harold Hagen, Chad Bartosh, and others, under the chairmanship of Steve Davis. The meeting, called to order at 8:31 AM CST, highlighted the introduction of DakCU's newest staff members, John Alexander and Chesney Garnos. The discussion delved into various topics, including political fundraising goals, scholarship awards, and the need for a task force to address CUPAC's goals. Committee members also shared ideas on potential fundraising events and areas requiring legislative change in North Dakota. The meeting concluded with plans for future sessions and a call for continued engagement in shaping credit union advocacy efforts.
Unlocking Secrets: Staff Retreat in Fargo
DakCU staff is in Fargo this week for a two-day retreat and planning session. The packed agenda includes exercises in enhancing team skills and knowledge. For some staff, this in-person event will be a first-time introduction. A primary focus of the retreat centers on our new partnership for compliance, with ViClarity taking the spotlight. We will also have intensive advocacy training to better serve members. Stay tuned for some exciting updates from this insightful retreat in next week’s update.
Spooky Times Ahead at DakCU: Marketing & Communications
A recent meeting with the DakCU marketing and communications team (Lindsey & Shawn) revealed the critical role that supporting and promoting the Dakota Credit Union Association plays in their ongoing efforts. They discussed two fundamental pillars: Advocacy Support & Resources and Awareness. The team emphasized their active presence on social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, actively encouraging community contributions to keep their posts engaging and informative.
The meeting also delved into the charitable initiatives of the Dakota Credit Union Foundation, efficiently managed by an engaged board of directors, with Shawn acting as liaison. These efforts encompass support for financial education events, scholarships for credit union professionals, and donations to charitable causes, all meticulously evaluated to ensure maximum impact. In conjunction with these endeavors, the marketing team employs contemporary tools, such as a mobile app and internet platforms managed by Lindsey, to extend their outreach, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to fortifying the Dakota Credit Union Association.
A Haunting Reality: Financial Hardships Revealed in CYGNAL Survey
A recent survey conducted on behalf of the Credit Union National Association unveils the financial challenges faced by many Americans, especially in rural areas and among those with lower incomes. The survey reflects the struggle of many to meet rising living costs and underscores the importance of financial institutions like credit unions, big retailers, and credit card companies in managing finances. It also delves into the role of credit cards in people's lives and the potential impact of the proposed Credit Card Competition Act (CCCA).
You can view the survey results here.
Haunted Houses: DakCU Staff to Visit Washington, DC
This November, DakCU staff are gearing up for an exciting trip to Washington, D.C., with an intriguing twist. Their primary objective revolves around a series of high-stakes meetings with Senate staffers representing North and South Dakota. Stay tuned for the thrilling climax of this journey as they aim to foster crucial connections and advance the credit union's mission in the heart of the nation's capital.
Roger Heacock GAC-HTH Scholarship: Supporting DakCU Members
DakCU is proud to offer the Roger Heacock GAC-HTH Scholarship. This scholarship is a tribute to Roger Heacock's legacy of servant leadership and commitment to credit union advocacy. It offers financial assistance to credit union professionals wishing to attend the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) or the DakCU Legislative/Regulatory Hike the Hill (HTH). The level of assistance varies each year and depends on the number of qualified applicants and available funds. The application deadline for this scholarship is December 1, 2023.
2024 GAC Registration Open for Credit Union Advocates
Registration for the industry's most significant credit union advocacy event is open, and word has it that rooms are going fast. The 2024 event is scheduled to take place at the prestigious Walter E. Washington Convention Center from March 3rd to the 7th. GAC is the epitome of credit union advocacy, where leaders and advocates come together to underscore the impact of legislative policies on credit unions and their 130 million members.
A notable addition this year is the "Small Credit Union Blueprints for Success" initiative, encouraging credit unions to share growth strategies. The best entries stand a chance to win full scholarships to the 2024 GAC, covering registration, airfare, and accommodations. If you're interested in the GAC, don't hesitate to contact our office for more information.
Wishing You a Spooktacular Journey
As the day sets on these eerie chapters, we look forward to warmer weekends. From the spooky tales of Halloween to the warmth of Thanksgiving, and the thrill of pheasant season, until next time, stay tuned for the latest updates and adventures on our journey together.
Feel free to contact John Alexander with any advocacy or regulatory questions or concerns.
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