CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle reinforced how the Big Box interchange bill would negatively impact consumers, as Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Roger Marshall, R-Kan., and Peter Welch, D-Vt. work to stop any legislation from moving forward in the Senate unless it contains their bill’s language.
The three senators held a news conference on the flawed Credit Card Competition Act of 2023 this week.
CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle stated, “This bill hurts hard-working Americans, increasing profits for the largest merchants at the expense of consumers, who will be at greater risk. Credit unions are working tirelessly to fight back against this big box bailout bill for a simple reason: the current interchange system works.
“The system works for regular consumers and Main Street businesses, who depend on the safety and security of the credit card system to both purchase and sell items using a credit card. Having a credit card option increases business for retailers. Credit unions use the small percentage of interchange generated by a purchase to improve options for consumers – data security, more fraud protection, and continued access to needed credit.
“This bill contains no requirement for merchants to protect data, or to use the most secure processing option. These changes would leave consumers vulnerable and small businesses struggling, just so big-box bullies get a bigger piece of the pie. It would allow those merchants to receive financial shortcuts while patrons deal with the rising prices of inflation.
“It's a more costly repeat of the Durbin Amendment affecting debit card interchange. Consumers did not see additional savings with Sen. Durbin’s debit card mandate in 2010, and the data is clear we won’t see a different outcome this time around. We urge Congress to thoroughly consider the detrimental effects of this legislation and recognize that doubling down on a bad idea doesn’t make sense.”
Credit union leaders are on Capitol Hill this week and voiced concerns on the harmful legislation:
“The so-called credit card competition act will hurt Tennessee consumers and line the pockets of big box retailers. Tennessee credit unions serve their members each day and know that interchange works, and provides consumers with a quick, secure form of payment that has increased retail sales over the last few decades," said Fred Robinson, president/CEO, Tennessee Credit Union League.
“Kentucky Credit Unions are on Capitol Hill as we speak, to make sure lawmakers hear directly from Kentucky credit union leaders about the incredibly damaging impacts that the Big Box Bailout efforts of Senators Durbin and Marshall would have on consumers - not only in our state, but nationwide. The data shows skyrocketing rates of fraud followed the Durbin amendment more than 10 years ago and credit union member-owners have borne the brunt of that burden. This bill would create an even greater financial burden and put their personal data at risk," said Jim Kasch, president, Kentucky Credit Union League.
“Our message to Wisconsin's delegation was clear: the Credit Card Competition Act is a threat to credit unions' ability to invest in the financial well-being of members and communities. As not-for-profits, our credit unions return earnings - including those from interchange fees - to members,” said Brett Thompson, CEO, Wisconsin Credit Union League.