Ohio League Chair: Interchange bill is flawed, would put consumers at risk

July 18, 2023

The big box interchange bill would hurt consumers and small businesses, while benefiting big box retailers, Ohio Credit Union League Board Chair and Day Air Credit Union President/CEO Bill Burke wrote this week. Bailey's article appeared in the Dayton Daily News and the Cincinnati Enquirer Tuesday. 

"Simply put, interchange fees are an important cost of doing business with credit cards. Despite the significant consumer risk, big-box retail groups want Congress to dismantle the interchange system by passing this flawed bill," he wrote. "If adopted, it will leave small businesses and consumers with fewer choices, less access to credit and more data security risks."

Burke added that interchange is the cost of doing business.

"While retailers reap the benefits of credit cards – immediate payment, protection from fraud, and often larger purchases by consumers – they do not want to pay the cost of accepting credit cards," he wrote. "Interchange fees help defray, but do not cover, the cost of fraud detection, credit monitoring, and fraudulent purchase protection that makes consumers and merchants whole when bad actors attack.

"Interchange fees support affordable access to credit. Consumers rely on credit cards to build credit and gain access to funds. Having access to safe, affordable credit at any small business that accepts credit cards is very important to the majority of consumers," he added. "This system also helps Main Street businesses build their customer base at a time when fewer people carry cash and most count on being able to use their credit cards wherever they go."

He also noted that "exempt" organizations would still feel the negative effects, as they did with the Durbin Amendment in 2010.