September 16, 2022

NAFCU continues opposition to proposed interchange bill


NAFCU wrapped up the 2022 Congressional Caucus in Washington, D.C. earlier this week, where credit unions were able to hear from lawmakers and regulators and meet with them directly. Interchange remains a hot topic in the credit union industry, as it was discussed during several sessions throughout the event, with attendees taking concerns about the Credit Card Competition Act (CCCA) to the Hill in meetings with lawmakers.  The CCCA, which aims to benefit big box retailers by extending debit routing requirements to credit interchange, was introduced by Senators Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, earlier this summer and is the main topic for series of retailer fly-ins that started this week as big box retailers try to advance this legislation at the expense of community institutions and consumers.

To counter these merchant fly-ins and set the record straight, NAFCU joined with the American Bankers Association (ABA) on Wednesday to co-host an hour-long briefing on interchange and the harmful effects of this legislation for dozens of Congressional and Federal Reserve staff members. Presenting as part of the briefing, Michigan State University Federal Credit Union Chief Financial Officer Sara Dolan and pair of bankers drew on their experience with the original Durbin Amendment to explain how the proposed expansion included in the CCCA would harm their institutions. The Hill briefing was co-moderated by NAFCU Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Greg Mesack and ABA’s Executive Vice President of Congressional Relations Kirsten Sutton 

This was just one of many joint efforts by NAFCU and other groups to give a basic overview of the payments system, the role of interchange, and the impact that the CCCA legislation would have on consumers and community financial institutions.

As NAFCU’s President and CEO Dan Berger wrote earlier this week, “While the name of the legislation sounds good, it’s actually stifling competition at the expense of consumers.”  The association is urging credit unions to use NAFCU’s Grassroots Actions Center to speak against this bill. Credit unions can go to the Grassroots Action Center to send a message to their lawmakers requesting them to oppose the misguided legislation.

Berger also wrote to the Senate in late July to explain the negative impacts the proposed bill will have on credit unions and consumers, citing the harmful implications of the original Durbin Amendment in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. The association will continue to explain the negative effects this bill would have with lawmakers.