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Interchange bill would weaken secure payments systems

November 8, 2022

Leaders in Washington are considering legislation—the Credit Card Competition Act—that would harm consumers and take money out of their pocket, Eglin Federal Credit Union President/CEO Jerry Williams wrote in The Capitolist. Williams said the bill from Sens. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., would weaken the security of the payments system and reduce consumer choice.

Williams objected to attempts to attach the bill to the National Defense Authorization Act.

“Efforts to attach non-germane amendments like this one to the NDAA will rob military families of access to affordable credit. When retailers choose cheaper networks that may not have invested in the latest security technology, consumer payment data may become vulnerable to foreign networks,” he wrote. “At a time when our country is battling soaring inflation and we are under constant cyber-attack, we simply cannot afford more expensive products combined with less secure networks.”

Eglin FCU serves military and civilian members around several bases and Williams said the bill will not increase competition in the credit card marketplace but will benefit mega-retailers at the expense of “consumers and community financial institutions like EFCU who exist to serve our military members and their families.”

He also noted the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act, which capped debit card interchange fees, led to retailer profits instead of consumer savings.