CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle said it’s time to make the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) work for credit unions in a Credit Union Journal op-ed Monday. Nussle’s piece comes after CUNA filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeking TCPA relief last week.
“As the way we communicate has evolved, so has the need for consumers to get real-time information as soon as possible, but credit unions need to be able to do this without running into legal traps,” Nussle wrote, citing a CUNA survey that found more than 75% of credit unions reported difficulties determining if they were in compliance with the TCPA.
This confusion – coupled with the potential liability, should a credit union miscalculate whether an exemption applies or what an unclear definition really means – is leading credit unions to curtail communications with members. More than one in three credit unions using text messages to contact members have cut back or discontinued the practice,” Nussle wrote.
“This all comes as consumers are increasingly shifting away from landlines and voice calls into the world of text messages and mobile devices. At the same time, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is urging financial institutions to provide real-time information to consumers through text messages and other mobile device methods,” he added.
In its petition, CUNA proposed the FCC adopt 2 exemptions to the TCPA to help credit unions achieve some measure of regulatory relief.
“The TCPA was put into place as a way to protect consumers, and by adopting our proposed exemptions, the FCC can eliminate much of the unnecessary confusion and uncertainty that has resulted from a patchwork of conflicting and onerous requirements surrounding the TCPA,” Nussle wrote.