June 08, 2023

NAFCU-opposed bill to expand interchange price controls introduced in Senate, House

CapitolYesterday, lawmakers in the Senate and House re-introduced legislation to extend the debit routing provisions of the 2010 Durbin Amendment to credit cards. The legislation closely mirrors the senators’ bill from last Congress, which NAFCU successfully kept from moving forward. NAFCU is fully engaged with members of Congress to highlight this deeply flawed policy.

Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Peter Welch, D-Vt., and JD Vance, R-Ohio, and Reps. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Tom Tiffany, R-Wis., and Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., are sponsoring the bills.

“We are disappointed that Senators Durbin, Marshall, Welch and Vance and Representatives Gooden and Lofgren have again introduced the harmful and misleading Credit Card Competition Act (CCCA). Expanding interchange price controls and routing mandates to credit cards is bad policy, pushed by big box retailers who are looking to pad their bottom line. Contrary to merchants’ deceptive claims, data shows consumers end up paying more across the board – from higher prices of goods, to more expensive card products at their financial institutions, and fewer rewards and benefits on their card purchases,” said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger in response to the introduction.

“The legislation doesn’t promote competition. It opens the payments system up to risk from untested networks that cut corners at the expense of consumers, small businesses, and the credit unions that serve them. This bill failed to advance during the last Congress for a reason, and NAFCU will work tirelessly to remind lawmakers of the consequences it will have and ensure it does not pass.”

While the bill text limits these new requirements to only institutions over $100 billion in assets, the history of the failed exemption in the Durbin Amendment has shown that market changes will negatively impact all institutions, regardless of exemption status, while benefiting big box retailers.

In addition to credit union industry advocacy, NAFCU is working closely with the Electronic Payments Coalition to combat this bill, but nothing is more important to lawmakers than hearing from those who will be directly impacted. NAFCU’s grassroots efforts were instrumental in blocking the CCCA last Congress, and voicing opposition will be just as critical this year.

Credit unions are encouraged to take action and contact local lawmakers via NAFCU’s Grassroots Action Center. NAFCU is also seeking quotes and statements from credit unions to share with the media about how this bill will hurt business operations and members; submit a statement now.