NAFCU, trades warn Congressional leaders on risks surrounding House interchange bill

On Thursday, NAFCU joined the American Bankers Association, the Consumer Bankers Association, the Credit Union National Association, the Electronic Payments Coalition, and the Independent Community Bankers of America in a letter to House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Ranking Member Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., voicing concerns on the NAFCU-opposed House companion to the Credit Card Competition Act of 2022 (CCCA). This legislation, recently introduced by Representatives Peter Welch, D-Vt., and Lance Gooden, R-Texas, aims to expand interchange price controls by creating a new credit card routing mandate. Of note, NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger recently sent a similar letter to the House emphasizing the bill’s risk to consumers and Main Street as its Senate counterpart.

In the letter, the groups emphasize that the impacts of the bill are clear, including fewer options for consumers, greater threats to consumer data and privacy, weakened community banks and credit unions, and the disappearance of card rewards programs.

“Far from increasing competition in the credit card marketplace, this legislation will benefit the big box retailers by reducing the number of credit card issuers competing for consumers’ business, wringing out the competitive differences among card products, limiting credit card rewards programs and putting the nation’s private-sector payments system under the micromanagement of the Federal Reserve Board,” wrote the groups. “The Gooden-Welch bill does all this by eliminating using the free market and using legislation to award private-sector contracts to a small handful of the sponsors’ favored payment networks in order to pad the profits of the largest e-commerce and multi-national retailers who are raising prices on American families far more than the real rate of inflation.”

 

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