Credit card, small business coalition again trading fire over interchange bills

It is often said that where you stand depends on where you sit. That is certainly true when it comes to the furious debate over credit card interchange legislation.

If you are the president of a credit union, the big-box retailers are trying to save money, which they will keep and will not pass on to the consumer. If you own a small convenience store, credit unions and banks are trying to perpetuate the monopoly that Visa and Mastercard have on the credit card system.

The lobbying on either side of the issue has intensified, as reports have circulated that the Senate Judiciary Committee is preparing to hold a hearing on the interchange legislation sponsored by its chairman, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

The interchange bill, S. 1838, is being championed by Durbin and Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan. It would require the federal reserve to issue rules that guaranteed that large credit unions and banks currently using the four-party card processing system be required to use at least one unaffiliated network in addition to VISA and Mastercard.


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