February 27, 2023

NAFCU’s Berger: Efforts to restrict interchange are the height of hypocrisy

CapitolNAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger sent a letter to Congress Friday detailing the credit union industry’s total opposition to any efforts to impose restrictions on interchange in light of the potential for Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to reintroduce the Credit Card Competition Act (CCCA) in the coming weeks. The legislation – first introduced last Congress – sought to regulate credit card interchange rates by requiring multiple routing networks for credit transactions, granting merchants the option to choose cheaper, untested networks.

Berger explained that both sides of the two-sided market structure of the electronic payments system, which is comprised of consumers and merchants, benefit from the interchange arrangement.

“This bill is unwarranted and represents a heavy-handed government intrusion into the credit card payments market that would hurt credit unions and consumers alike, while allowing the largest retailers to pocket significant cost savings,” wrote Berger.

NAFCU relentlessly advocated against interchange expansion last Congress and is prepared to fight back again. At the end of 2022, the association’s advocacy ensured that several NAFCU-opposed provisions – including the CCCA – were excluded from the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill.

“Credit unions are committed to serving their members and, as such, must be able to make a reasonable return on payment card programs in order to continue to provide important consumer financial services, such as free checking accounts and member help lines when data breaches occur,” wrote Berger.

NAFCU’s advocacy is guided by direct feedback from member credit unions. The best messenger with policymakers in Washington is credit unions on the frontlines trying to meet the needs of their members. The association is urging credit unions to use NAFCU’s Grassroots Actions Center to send a message to their lawmakers urging them to oppose the harmful legislation. 

NAFCU also encourages credit unions to share a statement that the association can publicly use with media, members of Congress, and others to oppose this bad policy. 

Read the full letter. Stay tuned to NAFCU Today for the latest out of Washington.