September 14, 2022

ICYMI: Berger says Durbin-Marshall bill would worsen inflation pressures for Americans

Capitol HillNAFCU President and Dan Berger on Tuesday published an op-ed writing why the Credit Card Competition Act (CCCA) of 2022, introduced by Senators Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, would worsen inflation pressures for everyday consumers. 

Berger states that Americans are already feeling the heat of rising prices and don’t need added pressures around transaction risks. The CCCA would hurt consumers by limiting their access to safe and secure payment networks during credit card transactions. The CCCA will also greatly reduce interchange fees, which are used by financial institutions to mitigate consumer risks and allow for low-cost and sometimes free financial product and services offerings.

“These fees are a critical source of revenue for the card issuing financial institution because it helps maintain system improvements, ensure online transaction safety, mitigate consumer fraud losses, and most importantly, grant financial institutions the ability to offer affordable financial services products, like checking accounts and credit cards, to their consumers,” wrote Berger.

Citing the previously failed Durbin Amendment of 2010, Berger adds that an expansion of any legislation interfering in private market interchange, “would allow the same big box retailers and e-commerce giants that pocketed the Durbin Amendment savings at the expense of the consumers they claimed to champion to use multiple, cheaper, untested, and less secure credit card networks to process payments during a credit card transaction.”

“Retailers would have the ability to choose which networks process all credit card purchases, for their own financial benefit, while erasing consumers’ choice and any expected reward points during transactions and exposing them to increased risk, all without any consequence,” explained Berger.

Berger also calls attention to the CCCA’s impact on already struggling small businesses who would need to adjust their payments hardware and eat up a lot of costs to accommodate for these mandates, all for little to no return. 

“Americans are already feeling the heat of inflation. They don’t need added concerns about where their transactions are being routed and whether they’re safe,” concluded Berger. “They don’t need less access to affordable financial services products, they need more”

Read the full op-ed. NAFCU has consistently advocated against efforts that would undermine credit unions' interchange income and limit their ability to offer their 133 million members