By any measure, the struggle over the new law on debit interchange has been titanic, and the numbers reflect it:
And so it goes.
Credit unions rely on interchange revenue to ensure they have debit card programs to offer to members, a must in our modern payments system. They’ve made it clear that the Federal Reserve’s proposed rules implementing the law won’t ensure they can continue offering efficient debit card programs.
So, when the Senate last month failed to take action that would effectively order the Fed to “stop, study, and start over” on its rules, we were greatly disappointed.
But we took some consolation from a number of developments related to the Senate’s vote. These developments might very well help us make the case to the Fed about the impact of its rules on credit unions. Among them:
Buttressed by these numbers, we’ve been working to help the Fed understand that its final rules must go as far as possible to protect credit unions and other small issuers from the law’s major impact.
None of this happened in a vacuum. During the past six months, CUNA and the leagues—working with our member credit unions—have vigorously pushed this issue by:
Our ultimate goal is to protect credit unions’ ability to continue offering members affordable, effective, and efficient financial products, such as debit cards.
We’ll keep at it; our number isn’t up yet.
BILL CHENEY is CUNA’s president/CEO.