CUNA files amicus brief in important Florida interchange case
CUNA today filed an amicus brief Thursday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in a case raising many of the policy issues surrounding credit card interchange fees. The case, Dana’s Railroad Supply v. Bondi, involves a First Amendment challenge to Florida’s ban on merchants surcharging users of credit cards.
The retailers bringing the lawsuits argue that price determination is a form of free speech, and that in banning surcharges, merchants are unable to protest interchange fees, which they deem to be too high.
Interchange fees occur when a credit card transaction takes place, and are how credit unions are compensated for making cards available to merchants. As the CUNA brief notes, merchants receive a number of benefits from participating in the credit card system, including being able to keep staff levels low, allowing for transactions at unattended locations like gas pumps or online, as well as protecting merchants from fraud and insufficient fund losses.
“Nothing about the Florida Statute prohibits merchants from doing anything at the point-of-sale (or anywhere else) in an attempt to persuade consumers to use cash instead of a credit card,” CUNA Senior Director of Advocacy and Counsel for Special Projects Robin Cook argued in the brief.continue reading »